This paper reviews and discusses recent developments undergone by investment theory, and tries to address both financial and real decisions within an uncertain environment, here, the Italian economy. According to the recent "option value" approach to investment, if differing degrees of reversibility characterize the accumulation process by groups of firms (small and larger firms), we should expect their investment decisions to differ under uncertainty. On the other hand, asset reversibility has an influence on firm financing policy, given the observed relationship between asset and liability composition. Assuming a different degree of investment reversibility for small and larger firms, we explore how they react to interest rate uncertainty using the Italian experience during the 1980s as a benchmark. The main result of this paper is that interest rate uncertainty exerts a negative influence on firms' investment demand. The relationship is stronger for large firms than for small firms. Another result is that firm leverage also shows a negative relationship with interest rate uncertainty.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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