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Economics 122. Investment Fall 2012. NOAA’s weather supercomputer. PET Scan of PIB molecule. The Macroeconomics of Investment. Capital Produced, durable, used for further production Examples: tangibles (structures, equipment) intangibles (software, human capital)

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Economics 122. Investment

Fall 2012

NOAA’s weather supercomputer

PET Scan of PIB molecule


The macroeconomics of investment
The Macroeconomics of Investment

Capital

  • Produced, durable, used for further production

  • Examples:

    • tangibles (structures, equipment)

    • intangibles (software, human capital)

      Basic role of investment in macro

  • Short run: most volatile part of aggregate demand

    • See next slides

  • Long run: key determinant of growth of potential output and major way that governments affect economic growth

    • In growth theory


National accounts include only a small part of “investment-like” spending: 12% of 40%.


Investment decline in the depression
Investment decline in the Depression “investment-like” spending: 12% of 40%.

Note on data: Very convenient place is “FRED”: http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2


Investment in the great recession
Investment in the Great Recession “investment-like” spending: 12% of 40%.

This is only gross domestic private investment.


Today s housing depression
Today’s housing depression “investment-like” spending: 12% of 40%.


The major theories of investment
The major theories of investment “investment-like” spending: 12% of 40%.

1. Accelerator theory: states that investment is a function of change in output

2. Neoclassical theory: Desired capital stock a function of output and cost of capital

3. Q theory: Investment a function of Tobin’s Q (Q =ratio of market value of K to replacement cost)


Summary of neoclassical theory of investment
Summary of Neoclassical Theory of Investment “investment-like” spending: 12% of 40%.

  • Define the user or rental cost of capital as uc = (r+δ) PK as implicit rental on capital.

  • Assume that Y is given by short-run aggregate demand

  • Cobb-Douglas for simplicity and pK = p = 1.


Summary of neoclassical theory of investment1
Summary of Neoclassical Theory of Investment “investment-like” spending: 12% of 40%.

  • Define the user or rental cost of capital as uc = (r+δ) PK as implicit rental on capital.

  • Assume that Y is given by short-run aggregate demand

  • Cobb-Douglas for simplicity and pK = p = 1.

  • So the demand for investment is inverse to the user cost of capital, and therefore also to the interest rate.


Now the details
Now the details…. “investment-like” spending: 12% of 40%.


1 accelerator theory
1. Accelerator Theory “investment-like” spending: 12% of 40%.

  • Oldest and simplest theory is the accelerator model.

  • Here, the idea is that there is a target capital-output ratio K* = v Y

  • Hence the desired change in investment is equal to the change in output (I is gross investment):

    I* = ΔK* + δK = v Δ Y + δK

  • The actual investment might differ from the desired, but this is a simple and useful model. It shows why there is a close relationship between investment and output change.


Accelerator captures basic elements
Accelerator captures basic elements “investment-like” spending: 12% of 40%.


What is missing from accelerator
What is missing from accelerator? “investment-like” spending: 12% of 40%.

Financial markets!

  • Why does investment go down with tight money, high interest rates, and high risk premiums? (Neoclassical theory)

  • Why does investment decline when the market price of capital (e.g., housing) goes down? (Q theory)


Housing and interest rates with tight money
Housing and interest rates with tight money “investment-like” spending: 12% of 40%.


Neoclassical theory
Neoclassical Theory “investment-like” spending: 12% of 40%.

The mainstream theory is the neoclassical model.

- This is closely related to the accelerator model.

- The difference is that in the neoclassical model there is a variable capital-output ratio

- Hence, K/Y depends upon relative factor prices, and in particular upon the user cost of capital and taxes.

Using standard production theory

Start with aggregate production function:Y = F(K,L)

Next figure shows the difference of the accelerator and neoclassical models for an isoquant.


Isoquants with fixed capital “investment-like” spending: 12% of 40%.

-

output ratio v.

variable prop

ortions

L

fixed K/L ratio in accelerator

Cobb-Douglas in neoclassical

K

- fixed K/L corresponds to accelerator model

- variable proportions (such as Cobb-Douglas)

corresponds to neoclassical model


Investment criteria
Investment Criteria “investment-like” spending: 12% of 40%.

  • User cost of capital, uc

    • Central concept in macro theories of investment

    • Definition. Cost of renting capital for one period

    • Appropriate for perfect capital market where Q=1

    • Estimate as imputed in most circumstances because firms own capital (also for housing in NIPA)


Formula for cost of capital
Formula for cost of capital “investment-like” spending: 12% of 40%.

uc ≈ (1+τ) pK [r + δ]

whereu = user cost of capitalpK = price of capital goodr = real interest rateδ = depreciation rateτ = effective rate of tax (or subsidy when negative) on capital goods

Linkage to policy:- through real interest rate- through taxation of capital

In practice, u is complicated to measure; off to B School!


Derivation and example
Derivation and example “investment-like” spending: 12% of 40%.:

  • Buy a car, rent it for one period, and then sell at the end. No inflation or taxes. Real interest rate = r = .05.

  • Pay $20,000 sell for 20,000(1-.1) = $18,000; collect rent u.

  • What cost of capital (u) would just break even?

    when pK = pK (1- δ)/(1+r) + u20,000 = 18,000/(1.05) + uuc = 20,000 – 18,000/1.05 = 20,000 – 17,143 = 2857 ≈ pK (r+ δ) = 20,000(.15) = 3,000


Cost of capital with no taxes and p 1
Cost of capital with no taxes and P = 1 “investment-like” spending: 12% of 40%.

This is a slightly more realistic version that has both debt and equity capital.


Derivation of basic theory
Derivation of Basic Theory “investment-like” spending: 12% of 40%.

  • Define the user or rental cost of capital as uc = (r+δ) PK as implicit rental on capital.

  • Assume that Y is given by short-run aggregate demand

  • Cobb-Douglas for simplicity and pK = p = 1.

  • So the demand for investment is inverse to the user cost of capital, and therefore also to the interest rate.



From demand for capital to demand for investment
From demand for capital to demand for investment powerful but depends importantly on the lifetime of the capital:

  • What happens to demand for investment out of equilibrium?

  • Generally, go from demand for capital to demand for investment

  • Several approaches:

    • Costs of adjustment of investment (standard in modern macro)

      • Capacity in the capital goods industry (Boeing aircraft)

      • Construction lags (power plants)

    • Internal funds constraint


Now a major puzzle for neoclassical model housing and interest rates
Now a major puzzle for neoclassical model: powerful but depends importantly on the lifetime of the capital:Housing and interest rates

Housing price crash

Tight money

?


A glut of cargo ships in 2009 powerful but depends importantly on the lifetime of the capital:


Airplanes in mothballs tucson arizona
Airplanes in mothballs (Tucson, Arizona) powerful but depends importantly on the lifetime of the capital:


More formally: powerful but depends importantly on the lifetime of the capital:

Q = (market value of K)/(replacement cost of K)

Example:

- Cargo ships are selling for a Q of 0.25

- E.g., cost of production is $20 million, but ships sell for $5 million

- How is this possible?

  • Inelastic supply and high demand for cargo → low rentals

  • PV of ships is low.

  • Therefore, little to no shipbuilding, and the stock gradually depreciates or is scrapped

    How does Q affect investment?

    - Because Q < 1, shipping firms buy old ships rather than build new ones

    - This depresses investment.

    - Therefore I/K = f(Q), f’(Q) > 0.


3 q theory of investment
3. powerful but depends importantly on the lifetime of the capital:Q theory of investment

Idea here is that investment is determined by relationship between the value of firms or houses and the cost of new or replacement capital.

Keynes:

“The daily revaluations of the Stock Exchange, though they are primarily made to facilitate transfers of old investments between one individual and another, inevitably exert a decisive influence on the rate of current investment. For there is no sense in building up a new enterprise at a cost greater than that at which a similar existing enterprise can be purchased; whilst there is an inducement to spend on a new project what may seem an extravagant sum, if it can be floated off on the Stock Exchange at an immediate profit.”

Tobin:

"It is common sense that the incentive to make new capital investments is high when the securities giving title to their future earnings can be sold for more than the investments cost, i.e., when q exceeds one."


Investment and Q powerful but depends importantly on the lifetime of the capital:

Q

I/K = f (Q)

1

I/K

δ


Housing market collapse 2006 2012
Housing market collapse, 2006 – 2012+ powerful but depends importantly on the lifetime of the capital:


Investment ratio and q for housing
Investment ratio and Q for housing powerful but depends importantly on the lifetime of the capital:

  • Housing bubble:

  • Note that Q rose about 50 percent from mid-1990s.

  • Note huge decline in residential construction (I)


Housing q and housing starts 2006 m1 2010 m7
Housing Q and housing starts, 2006:m1 – 2010:m7 powerful but depends importantly on the lifetime of the capital:


Summary of investment theory
Summary of investment theory powerful but depends importantly on the lifetime of the capital:

1.. The major components of investment are residential, business plant and equipment, software, and inventories.

2. These are among the most volatile components of output in the short run.

3. In equilibrium, demand for capital determined where the cost of capital equals the marginal productivity of capital.

4. The major theories are the accelerator theory, the neoclassical theory, and the Q theory. These apply differently in different sectors.

5. Economic policy affects investment through both monetary and fiscal policy:

  • monetary policy through real interest rate and unconventional policies (buying mortgage backed securities)

  • fiscal policy through things like depreciation policy and investment tax credits.


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