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The Mix and Scale of Factors with Irreversibility and Fixed Costs of Investment

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  • Andrew B. Abel
  • Janice C. Eberly

Abstract

When factors of production can be adjusted costlessly, the mix of factors can be considered separately from their scale. We examine factor choice and utilization when investment is irreversible and subject to a fixed cost, so that the capital stock is a quasi-fixed factor that is adjusted infrequently and by discrete amounts. We derive and analyze analytic approximations for optimal investment behavior, and show how the quasi-fixity of capital eliminates the dichotomy between factor mix and scale. We show that the quasi-fixity of capital can give rise to labor hoarding, even when labor is a purely flexible factor.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly, 1997. "The Mix and Scale of Factors with Irreversibility and Fixed Costs of Investment," NBER Working Papers 6148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6148
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    Cited by:

    1. Roys, Nicolas, 2014. "Optimal investment policy with fixed adjustment costs and complete irreversibility," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 124(3), pages 416-419.
    2. Sakellaris, Plutarchos, 2004. "Patterns of plant adjustment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 425-450, March.
    3. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Monika Schnitzer, 2013. "Financial Constraints And Innovation: Why Poor Countries Don'T Catch Up," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(5), pages 1115-1152, October.
    4. Böheim, René & Stiglbauer, Alfred & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2009. "On the persistence of job creation in old and new firms," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 17-19, October.
    5. Contreras, Juan, 2006. "An Empirical Model of Factor Adjustment Dynamics," MPRA Paper 9797, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Anna Pavlova, "undated". ""Adjustment Costs, Learning-by-Doing, and Technology Adoption under Uncertainty''," CARESS Working Papres 99-07, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
    7. ASANO Hirokatsu, 2008. "Econometric Analysis of Irreversible Investment with Financial Constraints: Comparison of Parametric and Semiparametric Estimations," Discussion papers 08032, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    8. Øivind A. Nilsen & Arvid Raknerud & Marina Rybalka & Terje Skjerpen, 2005. "Lumpy Investments, Factor Adjustments and Productivity," Discussion Papers 441, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    9. Edlira Narazani, 2004. "Interrelationships Between Labor and Capital Adjustment Decisions," Labor and Demography 0412003, EconWPA.
    10. Goncharova, Natalia V. & Oskam, Arie J., 2006. "Investment Spikes in Dutch Horticulture: An Analysis at Firm and Aggregate Firm Level Over the Period 1975-1999," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25621, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    11. Scott Schuh & Robert K. Triest, 1998. "Job reallocation and the business cycle: new facts for an old debate," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 42(Jun), pages 271-357.
    12. Böheim, René & Stiglbauer, Alfred M. & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2005. "When and How to Create a Job: The Survival of New Jobs in Austrian Firms," IZA Discussion Papers 1602, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Baerenklau, Kenneth A. & Knapp, Keith C., 2005. "A Stochastic-Dynamic Model of Costly Reversible Technology Adoption," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19156, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    14. Julian Fennema, 2006. "An Alternative Estimation Framework for Firm-Level Capital Investment," CERT Discussion Papers 0602, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
    15. Russell W. Cooper & John C. Haltiwanger, 2006. "On the Nature of Capital Adjustment Costs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 611-633.
    16. Le, Duc Thuc & Jones, John Bailey, 2005. "Optimal investment with lumpy costs," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1211-1236, July.
    17. Jianjun Miao & Pengfei Wang, "undated". "Does Lumpy Investment Matter for Business Cycles?," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series wp2010-002, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    18. Whited, Toni M., 2006. "External finance constraints and the intertemporal pattern of intermittent investment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 467-502, September.
    19. Øivind A. Nilsen & Arvid Raknerud & Marina Rybalka & Terje Skjerpen, 2009. "Lumpy investments, factor adjustments, and labour productivity," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(1), pages 104-127, January.
    20. Böheim, René & Stiglbauer, Alfred & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2005. "On the Persistence of Firm Expansion. The survival of new jobs in Austrian firms," Economics Series 173, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    21. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2711-2805 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Jianjun Miao & Pengfei Wang, 2014. "Lumpy Investment and Corporate Tax Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(6), pages 1171-1203, September.
    23. Scott Schuh & Robert K Triest, 1998. "Job Reallocation And The Business Cycle: New Facts An Old Debate," Working Papers 98-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    24. Asano, Hirokatsu, 2002. "An empirical analysis of lumpy investment: the case of US petroleum refining industry," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 629-645, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity

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