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Optimal Investment with Lumpy Costs

  • John Bailey Jones
  • Duc T. Le

In this paper we solve a continuous-time model of investment with uncertainty, irreversibility and a broad class of lumpy adjustment costs. In addition to being general, our solution is quite tractable and intuitive. We show that, in contrast to standard results, the marginal value of capital jumps when investment is undertaken. We also find that firms facing higher uncertainty let their capital stock depreciate further before they invest, but increase their capital by a similar proportion once they do invest. We extend both the user cost and q theories of investment to incorporate lumpy investment. We confirm that with lumpy investment, a variant of Tobin's q can be a better predictor of investment than marginal q.

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File URL: http://www.albany.edu/economics/research/workingp/2002/lumpy6.pdf
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Paper provided by University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 02-02.

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Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nya:albaec:02-02
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, BA 110 University at Albany State University of New York Albany, NY 12222 U.S.A.
Phone: (518) 442-4735
Fax: (518) 442-4736

Order Information: Postal: Department of Economics, BA 110 University at Albany State University of New York Albany, NY 12222 U.S.A.
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  11. Oliner, Stephen D. & Rudebusch, Glenn D. & Sichel, Daniel, 1996. "The Lucas critique revisited assessing the stability of empirical Euler equations for investment," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 291-316, January.
  12. Chirinko, Robert S, 1993. "Business Fixed Investment Spending: Modeling Strategies, Empirical Results, and Policy Implications," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 1875-1911, December.
  13. Robert S. Chirinko, 1992. "Business Fixed Investment Spending: A Critical survey of Modeling Strategies, Empirical Results, and Policy Implications," Working Papers 9213, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  14. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger & Laura Power, 1995. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," Papers 0062, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  15. Dixit, Avinash, 1991. "A simplified treatment of the theory of optimal regulation of Brownian motion," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 657-673, October.
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  24. Jason G. Cummins & Kevin A. Hassett & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1994. "A Reconsideration of Investment Behavior Using Tax Reforms as Natural Experiments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 1-74.
  25. Abel, Andrew B & Eberly, Janice C, 1996. "Optimal Investment with Costly Reversibility," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 581-93, October.
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  28. Stephen C. Peck, 1974. "Alternative Investment Models for Firms in the Electric Utilities Industry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 5(2), pages 420-458, Autumn.
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