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Capital Adjustment Patterns in Swedish Manufacturing Firms: What Model do they Suggest?


  • Carlsson, Mikael

    (Department of Economics)

  • Laséen, Stefan

    () (Department of Economics)


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) a model with irreversible capital goes a very long way in capturing the salient features of firm-level capital adjustment behavior. To see this, an integrated approach is necessary since different alternative models do well in certain comparative dimensions but not in others. (ii) The partial adjustment model generally fails to explain capital adjustment patterns. (iii) The capital accumulation process is a highly volatile and non-persistent process on the firm-level. (iv) Firms adjustment behavior is asymmetric in that they are more likely to tolerate excess capital than shortages of capital, and finally, (v) the estimated adjustment function implies that aggregate investment is relatively unresponsive to aggregate shocks in deep recessions as compared to the responsiveness in normal times.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlsson, Mikael & Laséen, Stefan, 2001. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Swedish Manufacturing Firms: What Model do they Suggest?," Working Paper Series 2001:15, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2001_015

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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, July.
    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. Dufwenberg, Martin & Koskenkylä, Heikki & Södersten, Jan, 1994. "Manufacturing investment and taxation in the Nordic countries," Research Discussion Papers 8/1994, Bank of Finland.
    4. Guiseppe Bertola & Ricardo J. Caballero, 1994. "Irreversibility and Aggregate Investment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(2), pages 223-246.
    5. Øivind Anti Nilsen & Fabio Schiantarelli, 2003. "Zeros and Lumps in Investment: Empirical Evidence on Irreversibilities and Nonconvexities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 1021-1037, November.
    6. 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.
    7. 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 443-461.
    8. 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.
    9. Mark E. Doms & Timothy Dunne, 1998. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(2), pages 409-429, April.
    10. 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.
    11. Prakash Loungani & Bharat Trehan, 1997. "Job creation and destruction," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue may2.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fabio Verona, 2014. "Investment Dynamics with Information Costs," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(8), pages 1627-1656, December.
    2. Fabio Pieri, 2015. "Vertical organization of production and firm growth behavior," Working Papers 1508, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
    3. Fabio Pieri, 2016. "Vertical organization of production and firm growth," DEM Working Papers 2016/01, Department of Economics and Management.
    4. Øivind A. Nilsen & Arvid Raknerud & Marina Rybalka & Terje Skjerpen, 2005. "Lumpy Investments, Factor Adjustments and Productivity," Discussion Papers 441, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    5. Lundin, Magnus & Gottfries, Nils & Lindström, Tomas, 2004. "Price and Investment Dynamics: An Empirical Analysis of Plant Level Data," Working Paper Series 2004:7, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    6. Del Boca, Alessandra & Galeotti, Marzio & Rota, Paola, 2008. "Non-convexities in the adjustment of different capital inputs: A firm-level investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 315-337, February.
    7. Mikael Carlsson, 2007. "Investment and Uncertainty: A Theory-based Empirical Approach," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(5), pages 603-617, October.
    8. Tomat, Gian Maria, 2008. "Modeling the Effects of Financial Constraints on Firm's Investment," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 2, pages 1-26.
    9. Marco Grazzi & Nadia Jacoby & Tania Treibich, 2016. "Dynamics of investment and firm performance: comparative evidence from manufacturing industries," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 125-179, August.
    10. Schulte, Reinhard, 2015. "On real investment by new ventures," Lüneburger Beiträge zur Gründungsforschung 12, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Department of Entrepreneurship & Start-up Management.
    11. Bayer, Christian, 2008. "On the interaction of financial frictions and fixed capital adjustment costs: Evidence from a panel of German firms," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 3538-3559, November.
    12. Øivind A. Nilsen & Arvid Raknerud & Marina Rybalka & Terje Skjerpen, 2009. "Lumpy investments, factor adjustments, and labour productivity," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(1), pages 104-127, January.
    13. Sandra Martina Leitner, 2008. "Interrelatedness, Dynamic Factor Adjustment Patterns and Firm Heterogeneity in Austrian Manufacturing," Economics working papers 2008-03, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    14. Pinar Geylani, 2015. "Lumpy investments and capital adjustment patterns in the food manufacturing industry," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 39(3), pages 501-517, July.

    More about this item


    Investment; Irreversibilities; Lumpiness; Manufacturing;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General

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