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Explaining the Diversity of Industry Investment Responses to Uncertainty Using Long Run Panel Survey Data

  • Ciaran Driver

    (Tanaka Business School, Imperial College, London)

  • Paul Temple

    (University of Surrey)

  • Giovanni Urga

    (Cass Business School, London)

This paper presents an empirical study of the channels of influence from uncertainty to fixed investment suggested by real options theory. Using panel data from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Industrial Trends Survey, we report OLS estimates of the impact of uncertainty on investment where the regressors are augmented by cross-sectional averages of the dependent variable and of the individual specific regressors, as recently suggested by Pesaran (2004). The cross-industry pattern of results is checked for consistency with the pattern predicted by real options theory, using a specially constructed data set of industrial characteristics. We find that irreversibility is able to predict the pattern detected, but only when combined with a measure of the information advantage of delay. There is also evidence for expansion options effects; industries with high R&D and advertising intensities tend to have positive uncertainty effects.

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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Surrey in its series School of Economics Discussion Papers with number 0405.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sur:surrec:0405
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  1. Davies, Stephen & Lyons, Bruce, 1996. "Industrial Organization in the European Union: Structure, Strategy, and the Competitive Mechanism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198289739, March.
  2. Ciaran Driver & Katsushi Imai & Paul Temple & Giovanni Urga, 2004. "The effect of uncertainty on UK investment authorisation: Homogenous vs. heterogeneous estimators," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 115-128, January.
  3. Abel, Andrew B., 1952-, 1995. "Options, the value of capital, and investment," Working papers 3843-95., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  4. Owen A. Lamont, 2000. "Investment Plans and Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(6), pages 2719-2745, December.
  5. Pindyck, Robert S, 1993. "A Note on Competitive Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 273-77, March.
  6. Proietti, Tommaso, 1996. "Persistence of Shocks on Seasonal Processes," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 383-98, July-Aug..
  7. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-33, March.
  8. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly, . "A Unified Model of Investment Under Uncertainty," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 14-93, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  9. R. Glenn Hubbard, 1997. "Capital-Market Imperfections and Investment," NBER Working Papers 5996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bronwyn H. Hall, Jacques Mairesse and Benoit Mulkay., 1998. "Firm Level Investment in France and the United States: An Exploration of What We Have Learned in Twenty Years," Economics Working Papers 98-261, University of California at Berkeley.
  11. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2004. "Estimation and Inference in Large Heterogeneous Panels with a Multifactor Error Structure," CESifo Working Paper Series 1331, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Mason, Robin & Weeds, Helen, 2001. "Irreversible Investment with Strategic Interactions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3013, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Bar-Ilan, Avner & Strange, William C, 1996. "Investment Lags," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 610-22, June.
  14. Luigi Guiso & Giuseppe Parigi, 1999. "Investment And Demand Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 185-227, February.
  15. John V. Leahy & Toni M. Whited, 1995. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Investment: Some Stylized Facts," NBER Working Papers 4986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Ciaran Driver & Giovanni Urga, 2004. "Transforming Qualitative Survey Data: Performance Comparisons for the UK," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(1), pages 71-89, 02.
  17. Caballero, Ricardo J, 1991. "On the Sign of the Investment-Uncertainty Relationship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 279-88, March.
  18. Brennan, Michael J & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1985. "Evaluating Natural Resource Investments," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(2), pages 135-57, April.
  19. Ciaran Driver & Katsushi Imai & Paul Temple & Giovanni Urga, 2002. "The Effect of Uncertainty on UK Investment Authorisation: Pooled Estimators vs. Heterogeneous Estimators1," 10th International Conference on Panel Data, Berlin, July 5-6, 2002 B3-4, International Conferences on Panel Data.
  20. Cochrane, John H, 1988. "How Big Is the Random Walk in GNP?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 893-920, October.
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