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Options, the Value of Capital, and Investment

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  • Andrew B. Abel
  • Avinash K. Dixit
  • Janice B. Eberly
  • Robert S. Pindyck

Abstract

Capital investment decisions must recognize the limitations on the firm’s ability to later sell off or expand capacity. This paper shows how opportunities for future expansion or contraction can be valued as options, how this valuation relates to the q-theory of investment, and how these options affect the incentive to invest. Generally, the option to expand reduces the incentive to invest, while the option to disinvest raises it. We show how these options interact to determine the effect of uncertainty on investment, how these option values change in response to shifts of the distribution of future profitability, and how the q-theory and option pricing approaches to investment are related.

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Paper provided by Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research in its series Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers with number 15-95.

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Handle: RePEc:fth:pennfi:15-95

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  1. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly, . "A Unified Model of Investment Under Uncertainty," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 14-93, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  2. Robert S. Pindyck, 1990. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Investment," NBER Working Papers 3307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-38, June.
  4. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Hysteresis, Import Penetration, and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 205-28, May.
  5. Robert S. Pindyck, 1986. "Irreversible Investment, Capacity Choice, and the Value of the Firm," NBER Working Papers 1980, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
  7. Ben S. Bernanke, 1980. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," NBER Working Papers 0502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Hayashi, Fumio, 1982. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average q: A Neoclassical Interpretation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 213-24, January.
  9. Avinash Dixit, 1992. "Investment and Hysteresis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 107-132, Winter.
  10. Abel, Andrew B & Eberly, Janice C, 1996. "Optimal Investment with Costly Reversibility," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 581-93, October.
  11. Dixit, Avinash, 1991. "Irreversible Investment with Price Ceilings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 541-57, June.
  12. Leahy, John V, 1993. "Investment in Competitive Equilibrium: The Optimality of Myopic Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 1105-33, November.
  13. Bartolini, Leonardo, 1993. "Competitive runs : The case of a ceiling on aggregate investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 921-948, June.
  14. Mussa, Michael L, 1977. "External and Internal Adjustment Costs and the Theory of Aggregate and Firm Investment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 44(174), pages 163-78, May.
  15. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-33, March.
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