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Nonlinear Aggregate Investment Dynamics: Theory and Evidence

  • Ricardo D. Caballero
  • Eduardo Engel

    ()

In this paper we derive a model of aggregate investment that builds from the lumpy microeconomic behavior of firms facing stochastic fixed adjustment costs. Instead of the standard sharp (S,s) bands, firms' adjustment policies take the form of a probability of adjustment (adjustment hazard) that responds smoothly to changes in firms' capacity gap. The model has appealing aggregation properties, and yields nonlinear aggregate time series processes. The passivity of normal times is, occasionally, more than offset by the brisk response to large accumulated shocks. Using within and out-of-sample criteria, we find that the model performs substantially better than the standard linear models of investment for postwar sectoral U.S. manufacturing equipment and structures investment data.

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Paper provided by Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile in its series Documentos de Trabajo with number 48.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:edj:ceauch:48
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.dii.uchile.cl/cea/

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  1. Eberly, Janice C, 1994. "Adjustment of Consumers' Durables Stocks: Evidence from Automobile Purchases," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 403-36, June.
  2. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 1992. "Microeconomic Adjustment Hazards and Aggregate Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 4090, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sanford J. Grossman & Guy Laroque, 1987. "Asset Pricing and Optimal Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Illiquid Durable Consumption Goods," NBER Working Papers 2369, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Caballero, Ricardo J & Engel, Eduardo M R A & Haltiwanger, John, 1997. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building from Microeconomic Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 115-37, March.
  5. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger, 1990. "The Aggregate Implications of Machine Replacement: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 3552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ricardo J. Caballero, 1997. "Aggregate Investment," NBER Working Papers 6264, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "The Determinants of Investment: Another Look," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 71-75, May.
  8. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 5474.
  9. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Plant-Level Adjustment and Aggregate Investment Dynamics," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 1-54.
  10. Peter K. Clark, 1993. "Tax Incentives and Equipment Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(1), pages 317-347.
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