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Firms' investment decisions in response to demand and price uncertainty

Listed author(s):
  • Fuss, Catherine
  • Vermeulen, Philip

We estimate the effect of demand and price uncertainty on firms’ investment decisions from a panel of manufacturing firms. Uncertainty measures are derived from firms’ subjective qualitative expectations. They are close to their theoretical counterparts, the variances of future demand and price shocks. We find that demand uncertainty depresses planned and realized investment, while price uncertainty is insignificant. This is consistent with the behavior of monopolistic firms with irreversible capital (Caballero, 1991). Further, firms revise their investment plans very little. They may do so in response to new information on sales growth, but not as a result of reduced uncertainty. JEL Classification: D21, D24, D81, D92, C23

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0347.

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Date of creation: Apr 2004
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20040347
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  1. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1991. "On the Sign of the Investment-Uncertainty Relationship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 279-288, March.
  2. R Blundell & Steven Bond, "undated". "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data model," Economics Papers W14&104., Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  3. Ulf von Kalckreuth, 2003. "Exploring the role of uncertainty for corporate investment decisions in Germany," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 139(II), pages 173-206, June.
  4. Steven Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1987. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 2387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Robert McDonald & Daniel Siegel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-727.
  6. Abel, Andrew B. & Eberly, Janice C., 1997. "An exact solution for the investment and value of a firm facing uncertainty, adjustment costs, and irreversibility," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(4-5), pages 831-852, May.
  7. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
  8. Carlson, John A & Parkin, J Michael, 1975. "Inflation Expectations," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 42(166), pages 123-138, May.
  9. Söderlind, Paul, 2000. "Inflation Forecast Uncertainty," CEPR Discussion Papers 2499, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Ghosal, Vivek & Loungani, Prakash, 1996. "Product Market Competition and the Impact of Price Uncertainty on Investment: Some Evidence from US Manufacturing Industries," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 217-228, June.
  11. Bloom, Nicholas & Bond, Stephen Roy & Van Reenen, John, 2003. "Uncertainty and Company Investment Dynamics: Empirical Evidence for UK Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 4025, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Hartman, Richard, 1972. "The effects of price and cost uncertainty on investment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 258-266, October.
  13. Andrew B. Abel & Avinash K. Dixit & Janice B. Eberly & Robert S. Pindyck, "undated". "Options, the Value of Capital, and Investment," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-95, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  14. Stephen Bond & Julie Ann Elston & Jacques Mairesse & Benoît Mulkay, 2003. "Financial Factors and Investment in Belgium, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom: A Comparison Using Company Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 153-165, February.
  15. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-233, March.
  16. Frank Windmeijer, 2000. "A finite sample correction for the variance of linear two-step GMM estimators," IFS Working Papers W00/19, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  17. Bo, Hong, 2002. "Idiosyncratic Uncertainty and Firm Investment," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 1-14, March.
  18. Vivek Ghosal & Prakash Loungani, 2000. "The Differential Impact of Uncertainty on Investment in Small and Large Businesses," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 338-343, May.
  19. Andrew B. Abel & Janice B. Eberly, "undated". "The Effects of Irreversibility and Uncertainty on Capital Accumulation," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 21-95, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  20. Luigi Guiso & Giuseppe Parigi, 1999. "Investment and Demand Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 185-227.
  21. Henley, Andrew & Carruth, Alan & Dickerson, Andy, 2003. "Industry-wide versus firm-specific uncertainty and investment: British company panel data evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 87-92, January.
  22. John V. Leahy & Toni M. Whited, 1995. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Investment: Some Stylized Facts," NBER Working Papers 4986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Bomberger, William A, 1996. "Disagreement as a Measure of Uncertainty," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(3), pages 381-392, August.
  24. Pindyck, Robert S, 1993. "A Note on Competitive Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 273-277, March.
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