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Uncertainty, Imperfect Information, and Expectation Formation over the Firm's Life Cycle

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  • CHEN Cheng
  • SENGA Tatsuro
  • SUN Chang
  • ZHANG Hongyong

Abstract

Using a long-panel dataset of Japanese firms that contains firm-level sales forecasts, we provide evidence on firm-level uncertainty and imperfect information over their life cycle. We find that firms make non-negligible and positively correlated forecast errors. However, they make more precise forecasts and less correlated forecast errors when they become more experienced. We then build a model of heterogeneous firms with endogenous entry and exit where firms gradually learn about their demand by using a noisy signal. In our model, informational imperfections lead firms to enter the market without being fully informed. Moreover, young firms tend to wait long before entering or exiting the market faced with high uncertainty about their demand. The former learning effect, combined with the latter real-options effect, adversely affect firms' entry decisions and thus resource allocation. Our quantitative exercise substantiates the importance of accumulation of experience for firms' post-entry dynamics and aggregate productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • CHEN Cheng & SENGA Tatsuro & SUN Chang & ZHANG Hongyong, 2018. "Uncertainty, Imperfect Information, and Expectation Formation over the Firm's Life Cycle," Discussion papers 18010, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:18010
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    Cited by:

    1. David Altig & Jose Maria Barrero & Nicholas Bloom & Steven J. Davis & Brent H. Meyer & Nicholas Parker, 2019. "Surveying Business Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 25956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Bachmann, Rüdiger, 2019. "Comments on “Monetary policy announcements and expectations: Evidence from German firms”," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 64-68.
    3. CHEN Cheng & SUN Chang & ZHANG Hongyong, 2019. "Learning and Information Transmission within Multinational Corporations," Discussion papers 19053, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    4. Jose Maria Barrero & Nicholas Bloom & Steven J. Davis, 2020. "COVID-19 Is Also a Reallocation Shock," Working Papers 2020-60, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    5. CHEN Cheng & SENGA Tatsuro & ZHANG Hongyong, 2020. "Measuring Business-Level Expectations and Uncertainty: Survey Evidence and the COVID-19 Pandemic," Discussion papers 20081, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General

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