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Nonlinear Aggregate Investment Dynamics: Theory and Evidence

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  • Ricardo J. Caballero

Abstract

In this paper we derive a model of aggregate investment that builds from the lumpy microeconomic behavior of firms facing stochastic fixed adjustment costs. Instead of the standard sharp (S,s) bands, firms' adjustment policies take the form of a probability of adjustment (adjustment hazard) that responds smoothly to changes in firms' capacity gap. The model has appealing aggregation properties, and yields nonlinear aggregate time series processes. The passivity of normal times is, occasionally, more than offset by the brisk response to large accumulated shocks. Using within and out-of-sample criteria, we find that the model performs substantially better than the standard linear models of investment for postwar sectoral U.S. manufacturing equipment and structures investment data.
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Suggested Citation

  • Ricardo J. Caballero, 1998. "Nonlinear Aggregate Investment Dynamics: Theory and Evidence," Working papers 98-1, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mit:worpap:98-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel, 1993. "Microeconomic Adjustment Hazards and Aggregate Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 359-383.
    2. Grossman, Sanford J & Laroque, Guy, 1990. "Asset Pricing and Optimal Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Illiquid Durable Consumption Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 25-51, January.
    3. Cooper, Russell & Haltiwanger, John, 1993. "The Aggregate Implications of Machine Replacement: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 360-382, June.
    4. Peter K. Clark, 1993. "Tax Incentives and Equipment Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(1), pages 317-347.
    5. Eberly, Janice C, 1994. "Adjustment of Consumers' Durables Stocks: Evidence from Automobile Purchases," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 403-436, June.
    6. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "The Determinants of Investment: Another Look," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 71-75, May.
    7. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 5474.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ngongang, Elie, 2011. "Impact of Exchange Rate Policy on the Trade of Industrial Products in Sub-Saharan Africa from 1975 to 2007," Review of Applied Economics, Review of Applied Economics, vol. 7(1-2).
    2. Simon Gilchrist & Charles Himmelberg, 1999. "Investment: Fundamentals and Finance," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1998, volume 13, pages 223-274 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Gopinath, Gita, 2003. "Lending Booms, Sharp Reversals and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics," Scholarly Articles 11988005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    4. Anne Epaulard, 2001. "À la recherche des déterminants de l'investissement des entreprises," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 341(1), pages 3-14.
    5. Lars Jonung, 2005. "Proceedings of the 2004 first annual DG ECFIN research conference on “Business Cycles and Growth in Europeâ€," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 227, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    6. Bayraktar, Nihal & Sakellaris, Plutarchos & Vermeulen, Philip, 2005. "Real versus financial frictions to capital investment," Working Paper Series 566, European Central Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

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