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The Effect of Uncertainty on Investment: Some Stylized Facts

John Leahy () and Toni Whited ()

No 4986, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: The theoretical relationship between investment and uncertainty is ambiguous. This paper briefly surveys the insights that theory has to offer and then runs a series of simple tests aimed at evaluating the empirical significance of various theoretical effects. Our results from a panel of U.S. manufacturing firms indicate a negative effect of uncertainty on investment consistent with theories of irreversible investment. We find no evidence for a positive effect via the channel of the convexity of the marginal product of capital, and we find no evidence for the presence of a CAPM-based effect of risk.

JEL-codes: E2 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1995-01
Note: EFG
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Published as Journal of Money Credit and Banking, Vol. 28, no. 1, (February 1996), pp. 64-83.

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