We investigate the roles played by unexpected demand shocks, besides productivity, on firms' capital investment and exit decisions. We propose a practical approach to recover unexpected firm‐level demand shocks using inventory data. The recognition of demand shocks and inventory also improves the productivity estimation. The empirical results indicate that although productivity and demand shocks are both significant factors determining firm behavior, the former is more dominant for investment decision and the latter is more salient for firm exit. These findings confirm that unexpected demand shocks, besides persistent productivity, are important factors when analyzing capital investment and firm exit decisions.
International Economic Review
Digital distribution introduces many new strategic questions for the creative industries—notably, how the use of new digital channels will impact sales in established channels. We analyze this question in the context of e-book and hardcover sales by exploiting a natural experiment that exogenously delayed the release of a publisher’s new Kindle e-books in April and May 2010. Using new books released simultaneously in e-book and print formats in March and June 2010 as the control group, we find that delaying e-book availability results in a 43.8% decrease in e-book sales but no increase in print book sales on Amazon.com or among other online or offline retailers. We also find that the decrease in e-book sales is greater for books with less prerelease buzz. Together, we find no evidence of strong cannibalization between print books and e-books in the short term and no support for the sequential distribution of books in print versions followed by e-book versions.