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Uncertainty and stepwise investment

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  • Kort, Peter M.
  • Murto, Pauli
  • Pawlina, Grzegorz

Abstract

We analyze the optimal investment strategy of a firm that can complete a project either in one stage at a single freely chosen time point or in incremental steps at distinct time points. The presence of economies of scale gives rise to the following trade-off: lumpy investment has a lower total cost, but stepwise investment gives more flexibility by letting the firm choose the timing individually for each stage. Our main question is how uncertainty in market development affects this trade-off. The answer is unambiguous and in contrast with a conventional real-options intuition: higher uncertainty makes the single-stage investment more attractive relative to the more flexible stepwise investment strategy.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Operational Research.

Volume (Year): 202 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 196-203

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:202:y:2010:i:1:p:196-203

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eor

Related research

Keywords: Investment analysis Real options Capital budgeting Project flexibility Dynamic programming;

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Cited by:
  1. Lukas, Elmar & Welling, Andreas, 2014. "On the investment–uncertainty relationship: A game theoretic real option approach," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 25-35.
  2. Ghosh, Suvankar & Troutt, Marvin D., 2012. "Complex compound option models – Can practitioners truly operationalize them?," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 222(3), pages 542-552.
  3. Siddiqui, Afzal & Takashima, Ryuta, 2012. "Capacity switching options under rivalry and uncertainty," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 222(3), pages 583-595.
  4. Lukas, Elmar & Reuer, Jeffrey J. & Welling, Andreas, 2012. "Earnouts in mergers and acquisitions: A game-theoretic option pricing approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 223(1), pages 256-263.
  5. Elmar Lukas & Andreas Welling, 2012. "On the Investment-Uncertainty Relationship: A Game Theoretic Real Option Approach," FEMM Working Papers 120030, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  6. Guthrie, Graeme, 2012. "Uncertainty and the trade-off between scale and flexibility in investment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 1718-1728.

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