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Volatility and the Investment Response

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  • Joshua Aizenman
  • Nancy P. Marion

Abstract

We use the World Bank decomposition of aggregate investment shares into their private and public components to test for the correlation between volatility and investment in a set of developing countries. We uncover a statistically significant negative correlation between various volatility measures and private investment, even when adding the standard control variables. No such correlation is uncovered when the investment measure is the sum of private and public investment spending. Indeed, public investment spending is positively correlated with some measures of volatility. We also use the new World Bank data to redo the Ramey and Ramey (1995) test for a correlation between investment and the standard deviation of innovations to a forecasting equation for growth. While Ramey and Ramey found no significant correlation using aggregate investment data, we find a negative and highly significant relationship between innovation volatility and private investment in developing countries. These findings suggest that the detrimental impact of volatility on investment may be difficult to detect using aggregate data.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua Aizenman & Nancy P. Marion, 1996. "Volatility and the Investment Response," NBER Working Papers 5841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5841
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    1. Aizenman, Joshua & Marion, Nancy P, 1993. "Policy Uncertainty, Persistence and Growth," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(2), pages 145-163, June.
    2. Ramey, Garey & Ramey, Valerie A, 1995. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link between Volatility and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1138-1151, December.
    3. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    4. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-963, September.
    5. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    6. Pfeffermann, G.P. & Madarassy, A., 1992. "Trends in Private Investment in Developing Countries," Papers 16, World Bank - International Finance Corporation.
    7. Pfeffermann, G.P. & Madarassy, A., 1992. "Trend in Private Investment in Developing Countries," Papers 14, World Bank - International Finance Corporation.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. J Benson Durham, "undated". "Econometrics of the Real Effects of Cross-Border Capital Flows in Emerging Markets," QEH Working Papers qehwps52, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    2. Mellati, Ali, 2008. "Uncertainty and investment in private sector: An analytical argument and a review of the economy of Iran," MPRA Paper 26655, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Claudia Stirböck & Herbert Buscher, 2000. "Exchange rate volatility effects on labour markets," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;German National Library of Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 35(1), pages 9-22, January.
    4. Mariarosaria Agostino, 2004. "Conditionality, Commitment and Investment Response in LDCs," Economics Working Papers 2004-10, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    5. J Benson Durham, "undated". "A Survey of the Econometric Literature on the Real Effects of International Capital Flows in Lower Income Countries," QEH Working Papers qehwps50, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    6. Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Thouraya Hadj Amor & Christophe Rault, 2011. "Sources of Real Exchange Rate Volatility and International Financial Integration: A Dynamic GMM Panel Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 3645, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. J. Benson Durham, 2003. "Foreign portfolio investment, foreign bank lending, and economic growth," International Finance Discussion Papers 757, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Ansgar Belke & Daniel Gros, 2001. "Real Impacts of Intra-European Exchange Rate Variability: A Case for EMU?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 231-264, July.
    9. Demir, Firat, 2006. "Volatility of short term capital flows, financial anarchy and private investment in emerging markets," MPRA Paper 3080, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised May 2007.
    10. Demir, Firat, 2006. "Volatility of short term capital flows and socio-political instability in Argentina, Mexico and Turkey," MPRA Paper 1943, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Bayraktar, Nihal & Fofack, Hippolyte, 2007. "Specification of investment functions in Sub-Saharan Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4171, The World Bank.
    12. Stasavage, David, 2000. "Private investment and political uncertainty," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6653, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    13. Pereira, Rodrigo Mendes, 2008. "Investimento e Incerteza em Máquinas e Imóveis," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 62(3), November.
    14. David Stasavage, 2000. "Private Investment and Political Uncertainty," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 25, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    15. Buscher, Herbert & Mueller, Claudia, 1999. "Exchange Rate Volatility Effects on the German Labour Market: A Survey of Recent Results and Extensions," IZA Discussion Papers 37, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment

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