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A Unified Model of Investment Under Uncertainty

  • Andrew B. Abel
  • Janice C. Eberly

This paper extends the theory of investment under certainty to incorporate fixed costs of investment, a wedge between the purchase price and sale price of capital, and potential irreversibility of investment. In this extended framework, investment is a non-decreasing function of q, the shadow price of installed capital. The optimal rate of investment is in one of three regimes (positive, zero, or negative gross investment) depending on the value of q relative to two critical values. In general however, the shadow price q is not directly observable, so we present two examples relating q to observable variables.

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Paper provided by Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research in its series Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers with number 14-93.

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Handle: RePEc:fth:pennfi:14-93
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  1. Abel, Andrew B & Blanchard, Olivier J, 1983. "An Intertemporal Model of Saving and Investment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(3), pages 675-92, May.
  2. Tobin, James, 1969. "A General Equilibrium Approach to Monetary Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 15-29, February.
  3. Robert E. Lucas & Jr., 1967. "Adjustment Costs and the Theory of Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 321.
  4. Lam, Pok-sang, 1989. "Irreversibility and consumer durables expenditures," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 135-150, January.
  5. 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.
  6. Bertola, Guiseppe & Caballero, Ricardo J, 1994. "Irreversibility and Aggregate Investment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 223-46, April.
  7. Hayashi, Fumio, 1982. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average q: A Neoclassical Interpretation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 213-24, January.
  8. Treadway, Arthur B, 1969. "On Rational Entrepreneurial Behaviour and the Demand for Investment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(106), pages 227-39, April.
  9. Pindyck, Robert, 1989. "Irreversibility, uncertainty, and investment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 294, The World Bank.
  10. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-33, March.
  11. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1991. "On the Sign of the Investment-Uncertainty Relationship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 279-88, March.
  12. Pindyck, Robert S, 1982. "Adjustment Costs, Uncertainty, and the Behavior of the Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 415-27, June.
  13. Mussa, Michael L, 1977. "External and Internal Adjustment Costs and the Theory of Aggregate and Firm Investment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 44(174), pages 163-78, May.
  14. Eberly, J.C., 1990. "Adjustment of Consumers'durables Stocks: Evidence from Automobile Purchases," Weiss Center Working Papers 22-91, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
  15. Brunner, Karl & Meltzer, Allan H., 1980. "On the state of macroeconomics," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-5, January.
  16. Rothschild, Michael, 1971. "On the Cost of Adjustment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 605-22, November.
  17. Lucas, Robert E, Jr & Prescott, Edward C, 1971. "Investment Under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 659-81, September.
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