NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Estimating Adjustment Costs with Data on Heterogeneous Capital Goods

Austan Goolsbee, David B. Gross

NBER Working Paper No. 6342
Issued in December 1997
NBER Program(s):   PE   EFG

This paper estimates the micro-level costs of adjusting capital using detailed data on" investment decisions in the US airline industry. The data include the capital stock retirement, market values, operating costs, and utilization rates of 16 different types of capital" goods for each airline. This data on heterogeneous capital goods allows us to estimate the" desired stock of capital for each type of plane while controlling for unobserved changes in airline" profitability. The results show clear evidence of non-convex adjustment costs inaction for capital investment and quadratic adjustment costs conditional on positive or negative" investment. The adjustment costs for utilization show similar non-convexities but with smaller" adjustment costs. Aggregating to the firm level or using accounting data obscures the non-convexities and biases the estimated adjustment costs upward."

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w6342

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