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Adjustment Costs, Irreversibility and Investment Patterns in African Manufacturing

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  • Arne L Bigsten

Abstract

This paper examines dynamic patterns of investment in Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe, assessing the consistency of those patterns with different adjustment cost structures. Using survey data on manufactured firms, we document the importance of zero investment episodes and lumpy investment. The proportion of firms experiencing large investment spikes is significant in explaining aggregate manufacturing investment. Taken together, evidence from descriptive statistics, average investment regressions modeling the response to capital imbalance, and transition data analysis indicate that irreversibility is an important factor considered by firms when making investment plans. The picture is not unanimous however, and some explanations for the mixed results are proposed.

Suggested Citation

  • Arne L Bigsten, 1999. "Adjustment Costs, Irreversibility and Investment Patterns in African Manufacturing," IMF Working Papers 99/99, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:99/99
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    Cited by:

    1. Arne Bigsten & Mans Söderbom, 2006. "What Have We Learned from a Decade of Manufacturing Enterprise Surveys in Africa?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 241-265.
    2. Bacchetta, Marc & Jansen, Marion, 2003. "Adjusting to trade liberalization: The role of policy, institutions and WTO Disciplines," WTO Special Studies, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division, volume 7, number 7.

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