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The dynamic effects of real options and irreversibility on investment and labour demand

Author

Listed:
  • Nicolas Bloom

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

Abstract

This paper shows that, contrary to common beliefs, the real options effect of uncertainty plays no role in the long run rate of investment. This is proven for both the standard investment model with Cobb-Douglas production and Brownian motion demand, and also for a broader class of models with multiple lines of capital, labor and general demand stochastics. Real options and irreversibility, however, are shown to play an important role in the short run dynamics of investment and labor demand. Specifically, they reduce the short run response of investment and hiring to current demand shocks, and lead to a lagged response to past demand shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Bloom, 2000. "The dynamic effects of real options and irreversibility on investment and labour demand," IFS Working Papers W00/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:00/15
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    File URL: http://www.ifs.org.uk/wps/wp0015.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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.
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    4. Sakellaris, Plutarchos, 1994. "A Note on Competitive Investment under Uncertainty: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1107-1112, September.
    5. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-638, June.
    6. 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.
    7. Guiseppe Bertola & Ricardo J. Caballero, 1994. "Irreversibility and Aggregate Investment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(2), pages 223-246.
    8. Dixit, Avinash, 1997. "Investment and Employment Dynamics in the Short Run and the Long Run," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 1-20, January.
    9. Pindyck, Robert S, 1988. "Irreversible Investment, Capacity Choice, and the Value of the Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 969-985, December.
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    12. Hartman, Richard, 1972. "The effects of price and cost uncertainty on investment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 258-266, October.
    13. Caballero, Ricardo J & Engel, Eduardo M R A & Haltiwanger, John, 1997. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building from Microeconomic Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 115-137, March.
    14. 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.
    15. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-233, March.
    16. Walter Y. Oi, 1962. "Labor as a Quasi-Fixed Factor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 538-538.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nick Bloom & Stephen Bond & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Uncertainty and Investment Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 391-415.
    2. Kang, Wensheng & Lee, Kiseok & Ratti, Ronald A., 2014. "Economic policy uncertainty and firm-level investment," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 39(PA), pages 42-53.
    3. Klaus Mohn & Petter Osmundsen, 2011. "Asymmetry and uncertainty in capital formation: an application to oil investment," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(28), pages 4387-4401.
    4. Yoon, Kyung Hwan & Ratti, Ronald A., 2011. "Energy price uncertainty, energy intensity and firm investment," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 67-78, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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