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We report laboratory experiments investigating the cyclicality of investment. In our setting, optimal investment is counter-cyclical because investment costs fall following market downturns. However, we do not observe counter-cyclical investment. Instead, heuristic investment models where firms invest a fixed percentage of their liquidity, or a fixed percentage of anticipated market demand, better fit our data on average than does optimal investment. We also report a control treatment without cost changes and a treatment with asymmetric investment liquidity. Both of these extensions support our main result.


ESI Working Paper 18-02



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