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Investment and the Cost of Capital: New Evidence from the Corporate Bond Market

  • Simon Gilchrist

    (Department of Economics, Boston University and NBER)

  • Fabio M. Natalucci

    (Federal Reserve Board)

  • Egon Zakrajsek

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Board)

We study the effect of variation in interest rates on investment spending, employing a large panel data set that links yields on outstanding corporate bonds to the issuer income and balance sheet statements. The bond price data—based on trades in the secondary market—enable us to construct a firm-specific measure of the user cost of capital based on the marginal cost of external finance as determined in the market for long-term corporate debt. Our results imply a robust and quantitatively important effect of the user cost of capital on the firm-level investment decisions. According to our estimates, a 1 percentage point increase in the user cost of capital implies a reduction in the rate of investment of 50 basis points and, in the long-run, a 1 percent reduction in the stock of capital.

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Paper provided by Boston University - Department of Economics in its series Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number WP2007-027.

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Length: 32pages
Date of creation: Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2007-027
Contact details of provider: Postal: 270 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617-353-4389
Fax: 617-353-4449
Web page: http://www.bu.edu/econ/

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  10. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Kent Smetters & Jan Walliser, 2002. "Distributional Effects in a General Equilibrium Analysis of Social Security," NBER Chapters, in: The Distributional Aspects of Social Security and Social Security Reform, pages 327-370 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  22. Hans Fehr & Sabine Jokisch & Laurence Kotlikoff, 2004. "Fertility, Mortality, and the Developed World’s Demographic Transition," CESifo Working Paper Series 1326, CESifo Group Munich.
  23. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-29, June.
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  25. Feldstein, Martin S, 1974. "Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 905-26, Sept./Oct.
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