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Irreversible Investment with Regime Shifts

  • Xin Guo


    (IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Height)

  • Jianjun Miao


    (Department of Economics, University of Rochester, Rochester)

  • Erwan Morellec


    (Simon School of Business, University of Rochester, Rochester)

Under the real options approach to investment under uncertainty, agents formulate optimal policies under the assumption that firms’ growth prospects do not vary over time. This paper proposes and solves a model of investment decisions in which the growth rate and volatility of the decision variable shift between different states at random times. A value-maximizing investment policy is derived such that in each regime the firm’s investment policy is optimal and recognizes the possiblity of a regime shift. Under this policy, investment is intermittent and increases with marginal q. Moreover, the rate of investment typically is very small but exhibits some spurts of growth. Implications for marginal q and the user cost of capital are also examined.

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Paper provided by International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering in its series FAME Research Paper Series with number rp99.

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Date of creation: Nov 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fam:rpseri:rp99
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  1. Abel, Andrew B. & Eberly, Janice C., 1999. "The effects of irreversibility and uncertainty on capital accumulation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 339-377, December.
  2. Abel, Andrew B & Eberly, Janice C, 1994. "A Unified Model of Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1369-84, December.
  3. Abel, Andrew B & Eberly, Janice C, 1996. "Optimal Investment with Costly Reversibility," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 581-93, October.
  4. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
  5. Tarek M. Harchaoui & Pierre Lasserre, 1999. "Testing the Option Value Theory of Irreversible Investment," Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM 9905, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
  6. Robert S. Chirinko, 1993. "Business fixed investment spending: a critical survey of modeling strategies, empirical results, and policy implications," Research Working Paper 93-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  7. Fumio Hayashi, 1981. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average a : A Neoclassical Interpretation," Discussion Papers 457, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Pindyck, Robert S, 1988. "Irreversible Investment, Capacity Choice, and the Value of the Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 969-85, December.
  9. McDonald, Robert & Siegel, Daniel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-27, November.
  10. Bertola, Guiseppe & Caballero, Ricardo J, 1994. "Irreversibility and Aggregate Investment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 223-46, April.
  11. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  12. Morellec, Erwan, 2001. "Asset liquidity, capital structure, and secured debt," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 173-206, August.
  13. Eberly, Janice C. & Van Mieghem, Jan A., 1997. "Multi-factor Dynamic Investment under Uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 345-387, August.
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