215 research outputs found

    Investment, Tobin's Q, and Multiple Capital Inputs

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    Despite their solid theoretical basis, models of business investment based on Tobin's Q theory have recorded a generally disappointing empirical performance. This paper examines one possible source of misspecification. When the firm's technology is expanded to include two or more capital inputs, the investment equation following from maximizing behavior includes Q as well as a series of additional explanatory variables. The importance of these omitted variables is assessed, and the econometric evidence is mixed, as the Multi-Capital Q model clearly dominates the Conventional specification but empirical problems remain. In addition, the implications of the parameter estimates from the Conventional and Multi-Capital models for tax policy are noted.

    Investment Tax Credits

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    This paper examines the history, scope, and types of investment taxcredits (ITC's) implemented in the United States. Changing viewsabout the role of this fiscal policy tool are related to changing viewsabout the structure of the economy and the possibilities forconstructive public policies. The impact of the ITC on economicactivity is reviewed briefly.

    Corporate Taxation, Capital Formation, and the Substitution Elasticity between Labor and Capital

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    This study provides some perspective on analyzing the effects of corporate taxation on capital formation. Our framework translates tax policy legislation into real outcomes, and identifies three parameters that play a central role in determining the impact on policy. The remainder of the paper focuses on the substitution elasticity between labor and capital. Several of the prominent studies representing the major contours of this research area over the past 40 years are examined. Our review of five general equilibrium studies indicates that alternative values of this elasticity matter a great deal for the welfare changes following from proposed tax reforms. The paper concludes with two lessons for tax policy analysis and some suggestions for future research.

    Tobin's Q and Financial Policy

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    Recent research in macroeconomics has emphasized the importance of linking the financial and real sectors and the need for working with optimizing models. Tobin’s Q model of investment would appear to provide a framework that can satisfy these two criteria. In contrast to the original presentation of the Q model, the formal development has not recognized that the firm actively participates in a number of financial markets; in this broader context, we show that Q is likely to be an uninformative and possibly misleading signal for investment expenditures . We then endeavor to turn this negative theoretical result to positive advantage in resolving a number of empirical problems with Q models, but the modifications dictated by the theory receive little support from the data.

    The Marginal Product of Capital: A Persistent International Puzzle

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    Large and sustained differences in marginal products of capital (MPKs) across countries are sharply at odds with the core implications of the neoclassical framework. Lucas (1990) and many subsequent studies have examined reasons for this MPK differential. In a recent contribution, Caselli and Feyrer (2007) take the ground out from under this debate by reconsidering measurement issues and concluding that the MPK differential vanishes. Despite Caselli and Feyrer’s important advances in measurement, the international MPK puzzle persists. We show that the measurement of MPKs in their framework is substantially affected by adjustment costs in the accumulation of capital. With the proper technology and a plausible parameterization of adjustment costs, the MPK in poor countries is much higher than the MPK in rich countries. Why capital flows do not eliminate the MPK differential remains a persistent international puzzle. We examine the quantitative importance of financial frictions, relative prices, and adjustment costs in accounting for the MPK differential and document that adjustment costs provide the leading explanation.marginal product of capital, adjustment costs, macroeconomic analysis of economic development, international capital flows

    Fundamentals, Misvaluation, and Investment: The Real Story

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    Is real investment fully determined by fundamentals or is it sometimes affected by stock market misvaluation? We introduce three new tests that: measure the reaction of investment to sales shocks for firms that may be overvalued; use Fama-MacBeth regressions to determine whether "overinvestment" affects subsequent returns; and analyze the time path of the marginal product of capital in reaction to fundamental and misvaluation shocks. Besides these qualitative tests, we introduce a measure of misvaluation into standard investment equations to estimate the quantitative effect of misvaluation on investment. Overall, the evidence suggests that both fundamental and misvaluation shocks affect investment.investment, stock market, fundamentals, misvaluation, bubbles, real effects of financial markets

    The Fisher/Cobb-Douglas Paradox, Factor Shares, and Cointegration

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    This note uses insights from cointegration analysis to reexamine two separate but related issues concerning the estimation of production function parameters. Fisher (1971) documented a paradox in estimating substitution elasticities -- the puzzling divorce between the technology underlying his simulated data and the technology estimated from these data. This note both resolves the Paradox and, based on this resolution, raises important questions about estimation strategies (pioneered by Caballero, 1994) that rely on cointegration to recover production function parameters.production function elasticities, cointegration
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