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Uncertainty and Investment Options

  • Nancy Stokey

    (University of Chicago)

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    This paper develops a simple model in which uncertainty about future tax policy leads to a temporary reduction in investment. The basic idea is that policy uncertainty creates uncertainty about the profitability of investment. If the uncertainty is likely to be resolved in the not-too-distant future, firms rationally delay committing resources to irreversible projects, reducing current investment. When the uncertainty is resolved, investment recovers, generating a temporary boom. The size of the boom depends on the realization of the fiscal uncertainty, with lower realizations of the tax rate producing larger booms.

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    Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2013 Meeting Papers with number 251.

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    Date of creation: 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:251
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

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    1. Boyan Jovanovic, 2007. "Investment Options and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 13307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Guerron-Quintana, Pablo A. & Kuester, Keith & Rubio-Ramírez, Juan Francisco, 2011. "Fiscal Volatility Shocks and Economic Activity," CEPR Discussion Papers 8528, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 5474, 01-2013.
    4. Brandon Julio & Youngsuk Yook, 2012. "Political Uncertainty and Corporate Investment Cycles," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(1), pages 45-84, 02.
    5. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, 05.
    6. Hopenhayn, H. & Maniagurria, M.E., 1996. "Policy Variability and Economic Growth," RCER Working Papers 422, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    7. Baldwin, Carliss Y. & Meyer, Richard F., 1979. "Liquidity preference under uncertainty: A model of dynamic investment in illiquid opportunities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 347-374, December.
    8. Ben S. Bernanke, 1983. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(1), pages 85-106.
    9. 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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