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INVESTMENT IRREVERSIBILITY IN GENERAL EQUILIBRIUM: Capital Accumulation, Interest Rates, and the Risk Premium

  • Miquel Faig

This paper provides a tractable general equilibrium model that can accommodate shocks and irreversibility constraints both at the firm and at the aggregate level. Under realistic conditions, irreversibility not only prevents capital destruction, but it also promotes capital creation. Moreover, irreversibility depresses risk-free rates, especially in booms, and magnifies risk premia, especially in downturns. In addition to the theoretical analysis, two numerical examples illustrate the quantitative effects of investment irreversibility in the face of either large rare depressions or mild frequent recessions.

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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number faig-97-01.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 14 May 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:faig-97-01
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  1. Giuseppe Bertola, 1991. "Flexibility, Investment, and Growth," NBER Working Papers 3864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ferson, Wayne E & Harvey, Campbell R, 1991. "The Variation of Economic Risk Premiums," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 385-415, April.
  3. Robert S. Pindyck, 1990. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Investment," NBER Working Papers 3307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Andrew B. Abel & Janice B. Eberly, . "The Effects of Irreversibility and Uncertainty on Capital Accumulation," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 21-95, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  5. Dixit, A., 1988. "Entry And Exit Decisions Under Uncertainty," Papers 91, Princeton, Department of Economics - Financial Research Center.
  6. Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1997. "Algorithms for solving dynamic models with occasionally binding constraints," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  7. Marcelo L. Veracierto, 2002. "Plant-Level Irreversible Investment and Equilibrium Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 181-197, March.
  8. Dow, J.P.J. & Olson, L.J., 1990. ""Irreversibility and the Behavior of Aggregate Stochastic Growth Models"," The A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management 90-10, The A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management. University of California Riverside.
  9. Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas Fisher, 1995. "Tobin's q and Asset Returns: Implications for Business Cycle Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5292, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Coleman Ii, Wilbur John, 1997. "Behavior Of Interest Rates In A General Equilibrium Multisector Model With Irreversible Investment," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 206-227, January.
  11. Phillippe Weil, 1997. "The Equity Premium Puzzle and the Risk-Free Rate Puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1833, David K. Levine.
  12. Pindyck, Robert S, 1988. "Irreversible Investment, Capacity Choice, and the Value of the Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 969-85, December.
  13. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Pok-sang Lam & Nelson C. Mark, 1988. "Mean Reversion in Equilibrium Asset Prices," NBER Working Papers 2762, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. TallariniJr., Thomas D., 2000. "Risk-sensitive real business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 507-532, June.
  15. Michele Boldrin & Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 1995. "Asset pricing lessons for modeling business cycles," Working Papers 560, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  16. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 1993. "Sectoral Shocks, Learning, and Aggregate Fluctuations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 777-794.
  17. Giuseppe Bertola & Ricardo J. Caballero, 1991. "Irreversibility and Aggregate Investment," NBER Working Papers 3865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  19. Sargent, Thomas J., 1980. ""Tobin's q" and the rate of investment in general equilibrium," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 107-154, January.
  20. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 5474.
  21. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1995. "The equity premium: it's still a puzzle," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  22. Philippe Weil, 1990. "Nonexpected Utility in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 29-42.
  23. R. Glenn Hubbard, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty: Keeping One's Options Open," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1816-1831, December.
  24. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly, 1996. "Optimal Investment with Costly Reversibility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 581-593.
  25. Eisner, Robert, 1988. "Extended Accounts for National Income and Product," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 1611-84, December.
  26. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1991. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 263-86, April.
  27. Olson, Lars J., 1989. "Stochastic growth with irreversible investment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 101-129, February.
  28. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1988. "Permanent and Temporary Components of Stock Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 246-73, April.
  29. John V. Leahy, 1993. "Investment in Competitive Equilibrium: The Optimality of Myopic Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(4), pages 1105-1133.
  30. Huffman, Gregory W. & Wynne, Mark A., 1999. "The role of intratemporal adjustment costs in a multisector economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 317-350, April.
  31. Beaudry, Paul & Guay, Alain, 1996. "What do interest rates reveal about the functioning of real business cycle models?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(9-10), pages 1661-1682.
  32. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  33. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly, 1995. "Optimal Investment with Costly Reversibility," NBER Working Papers 5091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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