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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.
Web: http://www.albany.edu/economics/research/workingp/index.shtml Email:


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  14. 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.
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  20. Cummins, J.G. & Hassett, K.A. & Hubbard, R.G., 1995. "tax Reforms and Investment: A Cross-Country Comparison," Working Papers 95-28, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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  24. Robert S. Chirinko, 1993. "Business fixed investment spending: a critical survey of modeling strategies, empirical results, and policy implications," Research Working Paper 93-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  25. Veracierto, Marcelo, 1998. "The mix and scale of factors with irreversibility and fixed costs of investment : A comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 137-144, June.
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