Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Uppsala University, Department of Economics

No 2001:15: Capital Adjustment Patterns in Swedish Manufacturing Firms: What Model do they Suggest?

Mikael Carlsson and Stefan Laséen ()
Additional contact information
Mikael Carlsson: Department of Economics, Postal: Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Stefan Laséen: Department of Economics, Postal: Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: In this paper we study the capital adjustment process in Swedish manufacturing firms and relate the empirical findings to standard models of firm behavior in the presence of impediments to capital adjustments. We find that (i) a model with irreversible capital goes a very long way in capturing the salient features of firm-level capital adjustment behavior. To see this, an integrated approach is necessary since different alternative models do well in certain comparative dimensions but not in others. (ii) The partial adjustment model generally fails to explain capital adjustment patterns. (iii) The capital accumulation process is a highly volatile and non-persistent process on the firm-level. (iv) Firms adjustment behavior is asymmetric in that they are more likely to tolerate excess capital than shortages of capital, and finally, (v) the estimated adjustment function implies that aggregate investment is relatively unresponsive to aggregate shocks in deep recessions as compared to the responsiveness in normal times.

Keywords: Investment; Irreversibilities; Lumpiness; Manufacturing

JEL-codes: D24; E22; L60

39 pages, August 16, 2001

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