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Capital Adjustment Patterns in Swedish Manufacturing Firms: What Model Do They Suggest?

  • Carlsson, Mikael

    (Department of Economics)

  • Laséen, Stefan


    (Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of Sweden)

In this paper we study the capital adjustment process in Swedish manufacturing firms and relate the empirical findings to standard models of firm behavior in the presence of impediments to capital adjustments. We find that (i) an S,s model fits the data well in some, but not all, dimensions. (ii) A model with irreversible capital goes a long way in capturing the salient features of firm-level capital adjustment behavior. (iii) The partial adjustment model generally fails to explain capital adjustment patterns. (iv) The capital accumulation process is a highly volatile and non-persistent process on the firm-level. (v) Firms’ adjustment behavior is asymmetric in that they are more likely to tolerate excess capital than shortages of capital, and, finally, (vi) the estimated adjustment function implies that aggregate investment is relatively unresponsive to aggregate shocks in deep recessions as compared to normal times.

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Paper provided by Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden) in its series Working Paper Series with number 143.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Economic Journal, 2005, pages 969-986.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:rbnkwp:0143
Contact details of provider: Postal: Sveriges Riksbank, SE-103 37 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: 08 - 787 00 00
Fax: 08-21 05 31
Web page:

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  1. 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.
  2. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Gerard A. Pfann, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1264-1292, September.
  3. Oivind Anti Nilsen & Fabio Schiantarelli, 1996. "Zeroes and Lumps in Investment: Empirical Evidence on Irreversibilities and Non-Convexities," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 337., Boston College Department of Economics, revised 01 Nov 2000.
  4. Giuseppe Bertola & Ricardo J. Caballero, 1991. "Irreversibility and Aggregate Investment," NBER Working Papers 3865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, June.
  7. Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne, 1994. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants," Working Papers 94-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  8. Dufwenberg, Martin & Koskenkyla, Heikki & Sodersten, Jan, 1994. " Manufacturing Investment and Taxation in the Nordic Countries," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(3), pages 443-61.
  9. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1994. "Small Sample Bias and Adjustment Costs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(1), pages 52-58, February.
  10. Prakash Loungani & Bharat Trehan, 1997. "Job creation and destruction," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue may2.
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