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Wait-and-See: Investment Options under Policy Uncertainty


  • Nancy L. Stokey


This paper develops a model of investment decisions in which uncertainty about a one-time change in tax policy induces the firm to temporarily stop investing--to adopt a wait-and-see policy. After the uncertainty is resolved, the firm exploits the tabled projects, generating a temporary investment boom.

Suggested Citation

  • Nancy L. Stokey, 2013. "Wait-and-See: Investment Options under Policy Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 19630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19630
    Note: EFG

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephanie Schmitt‐Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2012. "What's News in Business Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(6), pages 2733-2764, November.
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    4. Jovanovic, Boyan, 2009. "Investment options and the business cycle," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2247-2265, November.
    5. Born, Benjamin & Peter, Alexandra & Pfeifer, Johannes, 2013. "Fiscal news and macroeconomic volatility," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2582-2601.
    6. Seierstad, Atle & Sydsaeter, Knut, 1977. "Sufficient Conditions in Optimal Control Theory," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(2), pages 367-391, June.
    7. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, May.
    8. Beaudry, Paul & Portier, Franck, 2004. "An exploration into Pigou's theory of cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1183-1216, September.
    9. Born, Benjamin & Pfeifer, Johannes, 2014. "Policy risk and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 68-85.
    10. Nicholas Bloom & Max Floetotto & Nir Jaimovich & Itay Saporta-Eksten & Stephen J. Terry, 2012. "Really Uncertain Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 18245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Michelle Alexopoulos & Jon Cohen, 2009. "Uncertain Times, uncertain measures," Working Papers tecipa-352, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    12. Beaudry, Paul & Portier, Franck, 2007. "When can changes in expectations cause business cycle fluctuations in neo-classical settings?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 458-477, July.
    13. Ben S. Bernanke, 1983. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(1), pages 85-106.
    14. 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.
    15. Hugo A. Hopenhayn & Maria E. Muniagurría, 1993. "Policy variability and economic growth," Economics Working Papers 30, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    16. McGrattan, Ellen R., 1994. "The macroeconomic effects of distortionary taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 573-601, June.
    17. Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2009. "Can News about the Future Drive the Business Cycle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1097-1118, September.
    18. Brandon Julio & Youngsuk Yook, 2012. "Political Uncertainty and Corporate Investment Cycles," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(1), pages 45-84, February.
    19. Hugo A. Hopenhayn & María E. Muniagurria, 1996. "Policy Variability and Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 611-625.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marina Azzimonti, 2016. "Does Partisan Conflict Deter FDI Inflows to the US?," NBER Working Papers 22336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    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
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm

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