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Idiosyncratic shocks and the role of nonconvexities in plant and aggregate investment dynamics

  • Aubhik Khan
  • Julia K. Thomas

The authors study a model of lumpy investment wherein establishments face persistent shocks to common and plant-specific productivity, and nonconvex adjustment costs lead them to pursue generalized (S,s) investment rules. They allow persistent heterogeneity in both capital and total factor productivity alongside low-level investments exempt from adjustment costs to develop the first model consistent with the cross-sectional distribution of establishment investment rates. Examining the implications of lumpy investment for aggregate dynamics in this setting, the authors find that they remain substantial when factor supply considerations are ignored, but are quantitatively irrelevant in general equilibrium. ; The substantial implications of general equilibrium extend beyond the dynamics of aggregate series. While the presence of idiosyncratic shocks makes the time-averaged distribution of plant-level investment rates largely invariant to market-clearing movements in real wages and interest rates, the authors show that the dynamics of plants' investments differ sharply in their presence. Thus, model-based estimations of capital adjustment costs involving panel data may be quite sensitive to the assumption about equilibrium. Their analysis also offers new insights about how nonconvex adjustment costs influence investment at the plant. When establishments face idiosyncratic productivity shocks consistent with existing estimates, they find that nonconvex costs do not cause lumpy investments, but act to eliminate them.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 07-24.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:07-24
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  3. Julia K. Thomas, 2002. "Is lumpy investment relevant for the business cycle?," Staff Report 302, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Khan, Aubhik & Thomas, Julia K., 2003. "Nonconvex factor adjustments in equilibrium business cycle models: do nonlinearities matter?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 331-360, March.
  5. Nicholas Bloom, 2007. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," NBER Working Papers 13385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Richard Rogerson, 2010. "Indivisible Labor, Lotteries and Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 250, David K. Levine.
  10. Caballero, Ricardo J., 1999. "Aggregate investment," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 813-862 Elsevier.
  11. 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.
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  14. repec:cup:macdyn:v:1:y:1997:i:2:p:387-422 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Ruediger Bachmann & Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo Engel, 2008. "Aggregate Implications of Lumpy Investment: New Evidence and a DSGE Model," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1566R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Apr 2010.
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  18. Francois Gourio, 2007. "Disasters and Recoveries: A Note on the Barro-Rietz Explanation of the Equity Premium Puzzle," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2007-007, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  19. John Haltiwanger & Russell Cooper & Laura Power, 1999. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 921-946, September.
  20. Russell W. Cooper & John C. Haltiwanger, 2000. "On the Nature of Capital Adjustment Costs," NBER Working Papers 7925, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Guiseppe Bertola & Ricardo J. Caballero, 1994. "Irreversibility and Aggregate Investment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(2), pages 223-246.
  22. Ruediger Bachmann & Eduardo Engel & Ricardo Caballero, 2006. "Lumpy Investment in Dynamic General Equilibrium," 2006 Meeting Papers 775, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  23. Diego Valderrama, 2002. "Statistical nonlinearities in the business cycle: a challenge for the canonical RBC model," Working Paper Series 2002-13, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  24. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Staff Report 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  25. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 1994. "Explaining Investment Dynamics in U.S. Manufacturing: A Generalized (S,s) Approach," NBER Working Papers 4887, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Krusell, Per & Smith, Anthony A., 1997. "Income And Wealth Heterogeneity, Portfolio Choice, And Equilibrium Asset Returns," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 387-422, June.
  27. Russell W. Cooper & Joao Ejarque, 2001. "Exhuming Q: market power capital market imperfections," Working Papers 611, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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