To Buy or Not to Buy? Uncertainty, Irreversibility, and Heterogeneous Investment Dynamics in Italian Company Data
Stephen R. Bond
Nuffield College; Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
IMF Working Paper No. WP/04/104
This study tests for the presence of real options effects induced by uncertainty and (partial) irreversibility on fixed capital investment using Italian company data. The approach recognizes that firm-level investment spending may, itself, be aggregated over multiple investment decisions in separate types of capital goods and emphasizes effects of uncertainty on short-run investment dynamics. Using a survey-based measure of uncertainty related to the assessment of managers responsible for the firms` investment plans, the study finds evidence of heterogeneous and nonlinear dynamics pointing to a slower adjustment of investment in response to demand shocks at higher levels of uncertainty. The results also point to an additional source of nonlinearity originating from a convex response of investment to demand shocks.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29
Keywords: Investment, Real Options, Panel Data
JEL Classification: C23, D8, D92, E22working papers series
Date posted: February 15, 2006
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