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Interest Rates and Backward-Bending Investment

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  • Raj Chetty

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of interest rates on investment in an environment where firms make irreversible investments and learn over time. In this setting, changes in the interest rate affect both the cost of capital and the cost of delaying investment. These two forces combine to generate an aggregate investment demand curve that is always a backward-bending function of the interest rate. At low rates, increasing the interest rate stimulates investment by raising the cost of delay. Existing evidence supports the hypothesis that firms change the time at which they invest in response to changes in interest rates. The model also generates a rich set of additional predictions that can be tested empirically.

Suggested Citation

  • Raj Chetty, 2004. "Interest Rates and Backward-Bending Investment," NBER Working Papers 10354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10354 Note: EFG ME PE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2004. "Interest Rates and Initial Public Offerings," NBER Working Papers 10298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Michel Demers, 1991. "Investment under Uncertainty, Irreversibility and the Arrival of Information Over Time," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 333-350.
    3. Huntley Schaller & Fanny Demers & Michel Demers, 1993. "Investments Under Uncertainty and Irreversibility," Carleton Economic Papers 93-10, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised Sep 1990.
    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. Cukierman, Alex, 1980. "The Effects of Uncertainty on Investment under Risk Neutrality with Endogenous Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 462-475, June.
    6. 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.
    7. Marglin, Stephen A, 1970. "Investment and Interest: A Reformulation and Extension of Keynesian Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 80(323), pages 910-931, December.
    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. 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.
    10. Robert McDonald & Daniel Siegel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-727.
    11. 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.
    12. Bischoff, Charles W, 1969. "Hypothesis Testing and the Demand for Capital Goods," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 354-368, August.
    13. John V. Leahy, 1993. "Investment in Competitive Equilibrium: The Optimality of Myopic Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(4), pages 1105-1133.
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    Cited by:

    1. Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2004. "Interest Rates and Initial Public Offerings," NBER Working Papers 10298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Shaun K. Roache, 2006. "Domestic Investment and the Cost of Capital in the Caribbean," IMF Working Papers 06/152, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Twine, Edgar E. & Kiiza, Barnabas & Bashaasha, Bernard, 2015. "The Flexible Accelerator Model of Investment: An Application to Ugandan Tea- Processing Firms," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 10(1), March.
    4. Andrea Beccarini, 2007. "Investment sensitivity to interest rates in an uncertain context: is a positive relationship possible?," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 223-234, September.
    5. Shaun K. Roache, 2006. "Domestic Investment and the Cost of Capital in the Caribbean," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 6(3).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing

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