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What Drives Aggregate Investment? Evidence from German Survey Data

Author

Listed:
  • Ruediger Bachmann
  • Peter Zorn

Abstract

The ifo Investment Survey asks firms in the German manufacturing sector about the importance of sales, technological factors, finance, return expectations, and macroeconomic policy for their investment activity in a given year. We show that these subjective investment determinants 1) capture economically what their labels suggest, and 2) have strong explanatory power for aggregate manufacturing investment growth fluctuations. In a second step, we use these determinants to identify aggregate demand and aggregate technology shocks and argue that the bulk of the variance of both aggregate manufacturing investment and output growth fluctuations (as much as approximately two thirds in both cases) is explained by aggregate demand shocks. Consistent with neoclassical views, however, technological factors are the most important investment determinant on average.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruediger Bachmann & Peter Zorn, 2013. "What Drives Aggregate Investment? Evidence from German Survey Data," CESifo Working Paper Series 4218, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4218
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp4218.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. R?diger Bachmann & Steffen Elstner & Eric R. Sims, 2013. "Uncertainty and Economic Activity: Evidence from Business Survey Data," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 217-249, April.
    2. Victor Dorofeenko & Gabriel S. Lee & Kevin D. Salyer, 2008. "Time-Varying Uncertainty And The Credit Channel," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 375-403, October.
    3. Hall, Robert E, 1997. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Allocation of Time," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 223-250, January.
    4. John Shea, 1999. "What Do Technology Shocks Do?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1998, volume 13, pages 275-322 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Michelle Alexopoulos, 2011. "Read All about It!! What Happens Following a Technology Shock?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1144-1179, June.
    6. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2003. "What Happens After a Technology Shock?," NBER Working Papers 9819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Morten O. Ravn & Harald Uhlig, 2002. "On adjusting the Hodrick-Prescott filter for the frequency of observations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 371-375.
    8. Lawrence Christiano & Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno, 2013. "Risk Shocks," NBER Working Papers 18682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    investment dynamics; investment determinants; survey data; narrative approach; aggregate demand shocks; sentiment shocks;

    JEL classification:

    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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