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Uncertainty and the Dynamics of R&D

  • Nicholas Bloom

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Stanford University)

Uncertainty varies strongly over time, rising by 50% to 100% in recessions and by up to 200% after major economic and political shocks. This paper shows that higher uncertainty reduces the responsiveness of R&D to changes in business conditions - a "caution-effect" - making it more persistent over time. Thus, uncertainty will play a critical role in shaping the dynamics of R&D through the business cycle, and its response to technology policy. I also show that if fi?rms are increasing their level of R&D then the effect of uncertainty will be negative, while if fi?rms are reducing R&D then the effect of uncertainty will be positive.

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File URL: http://www-siepr.stanford.edu/repec/sip/07-021.pdf
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Paper provided by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 07-021.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:07-021
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  1. McDonald, Robert & Siegel, Daniel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-27, November.
  2. Eduardo S. Schwartz, 2003. "Patents and R&D as Real Options," NBER Working Papers 10114, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  4. Nick Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2006. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," NBER Working Papers 12216, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Nick Bloom, 2006. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks: Firm Level Estimation and a 9/11 Simulation," CEP Discussion Papers dp0718, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Hassler, John A. A., 1996. "Variations in risk and fluctuations in demand: A theoretical model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(6-7), pages 1115-1143.
  7. Giuseppe Bertola & Ricardo J. Caballero, 1991. "Irreversibility and Aggregate Investment," NBER Working Papers 3865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Nick Bloom & Stephen Bond & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Uncertainty and Investment Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 391-415.
  9. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 5474.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Nicholas Bloom, 2007. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," NBER Working Papers 13385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. G. William Schwert, 1990. "Why Does Stock Market Volatility Change Over Time?," NBER Working Papers 2798, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Diego Comin & Mark Gertler, 2006. "Medium-Term Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 523-551, June.
  15. Gadi Barlevy, 2007. "On the Cyclicality of Research and Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1131-1164, September.
  16. Bloom, Nick & Griffith, Rachel & Van Reenen, John, 2002. "Do R&D tax credits work? Evidence from a panel of countries 1979-1997," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 1-31, July.
  17. Ben S. Bernanke, 1980. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," NBER Working Papers 0502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Topel, Robert H & Rosen, Sherwin, 1988. "Housing Investment in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 718-40, August.
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