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Schauer, Catharina (2019): HOW ASSET IRREVERSIBILITY INFLUENCES THE INVESTMENT-UNCERTAINTY RELATIONSHIP. In: Bulletin of Economic Research, Vol. 71, No. 3: pp. 283-306
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Abstract

This paper examines how uncertainty affects firms' investments for varying degrees of asset irreversibility (i.e., the wedge between purchase price and liquidation value of an asset). To identify more or less irreversible capital goods, we exploit unique survey data on German manufacturing firms over the sample period 2004 to 2012 in which managers provide information on investments' purpose (capacity expansion, replacement, restructuring, rationalization, and other). Our results indicate that only investments into the most irreversible capital goods (capacity expansion) will decrease if uncertainty rises. We also find support for other channels, such as the financial friction or the market power channel, to explain the investment-uncertainty relationship.