Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment
The optimal timing of real investment is studied under the assumptions that investment is irreversible and that new information about returns is arriving over time. Investment should be undertaken in this case only when the costs of deferring the project exceed the expected value of information gained by waiting. Uncertainty, because it increases the value of waiting for new information, retards the current rate of investment. The nature of investor's optimal reactions to events whose implications are resolved over time is a possible explanation of the instability of aggregate investment over the business cycle.
|Date of creation:||Jul 1980|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Bernanke, Ben S. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment." Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 97, No. 1, (February 1983), pp. 85-106.|
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- James Tobin & William C. Brainard, 1976. "Asset Markets and the Cost of Capital," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 427, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Arrow, Kenneth J & Fisher, Anthony C, 1974. "Environmental Preservation, Uncertainty, and Irreversibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 312-19, May.
- Paul A. Samuelson, 1939. "A Synthesis of the Principle of Acceleration and the Multiplier," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47, pages 786.
- Rothschild, Michael, 1974. "Searching for the Lowest Price When the Distribution of Prices Is Unknown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 689-711, July/Aug..
- Lucas, Robert E., 1977. "Understanding business cycles," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 7-29, January.
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