The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
The paper presents a model of irreversible investment under uncertainty, where investment takes place whenever a threshold level of marginal returns is reached. The threshold depends positively on price volatility; a change from high to low inflation induces an upward capital stock adjustment. In economies that move in and out of temporary stabilizations, the observed effect is a negative inflation-investment correlation that replicates previous empirical findings, due to purely short-term dynamics. I study how this correlation is affected by the expected duration of each regime. Empirical evidence from ten inflationary economies confirms the predictions of the model.