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What Drives Aggregate Investment? Evidence from German Survey Data

Ruediger Bachmann () and Peter Zorn ()

No 12710, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: The ifo Investment Survey asks firms in the German manufacturing sector about the importance of sales, technological factors, finance, return expectations, and macroeconomic policy for their investment activity in a given year. We show that these subjective investment determinants 1) capture economically what their labels suggest, and 2) have strong explanatory power for aggregate manufacturing investment growth fluctuations. In a second step, we use these determinants to identify aggregate demand and aggregate technology shocks and argue that the bulk of the variance of both aggregate manufacturing investment and output growth fluctuations (as much as approximately two thirds in both cases) is explained by aggregate demand shocks. Consistent with neoclassical views, however, technological factors are the most important investment determinant on average.

Keywords: aggregate demand shocks; investment determinants; investment dynamics; narrative approach; sentiment shocks; survey data (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D90 D91 E20 E22 E30 E32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur and nep-mac
Date: 2018-02
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Working Paper: What Drives Aggregate Investment? Evidence from German Survey Data (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: What Drives Aggregate Investment? Evidence from German Survey Data (2013) Downloads
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