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How to analyze the investment–uncertainty relationship in real option models?

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  • Diderik Lund

    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

Abstract

The real options tradition originally predicted a decreasing relationship between uncertainty and investment, through the positive effect of higher uncertainty on the trigger level for revenue relative to costs. An opposing effect on the probability of reaching the level has been identified, yielding a total effect with ambiguous sign. This paper makes three points. The “opposing” effect is not always opposing. Systematic risk cannot generally be assumed to increase with volatility. A probability is not the best measure of investment. The sign of the total effect is again ambiguous. This ambiguity is illustrated, depending on specification of model and parameters.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series EPRU Working Paper Series with number 03-17.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:epruwp:03-17

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Keywords: investment; uncertainty; real options; stochastic control;

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  1. Nikolaos Milonas & Thomas Henker, 2001. "Price spread and convenience yield behaviour in the international oil market," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 23-36.
  2. Pindyck, Robert S, 1991. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Investment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 1110-48, September.
  3. Merton, Robert C, 1973. "An Intertemporal Capital Asset Pricing Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(5), pages 867-87, September.
  4. Sarkar, Sudipto, 2003. "The effect of mean reversion on investment under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 377-396, November.
  5. Lund Diderik, 1993. "The Lognormal Diffusion Is Hardly an Equilibrium Price Process for Exhaustible Resources," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 235-241, November.
  6. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
  7. McDonald, Robert & Siegel, Daniel, 1984. " Option Pricing When the Underlying Asset Earns a Below-Equilibrium Rate of Return: A Note," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(1), pages 261-65, March.
  8. Gilbert E. Metcalf & Kevin A. Hassett, 1995. "Investment Under Alternative Return Assumptions: Comparing Random Walks and Mean Reversion," NBER Technical Working Papers 0175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Sarkar, Sudipto, 2000. "On the investment-uncertainty relationship in a real options model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 219-225, February.
  10. McDonald, Robert & Siegel, Daniel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-27, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Mark Funk, 2006. "Business cycles and research investment," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(15), pages 1775-1782.
  2. Davis, Graham A. & Cairns, Robert D., 2012. "Good timing: The economics of optimal stopping," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 255-265.
  3. 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.
  4. Lund, Diderik & Nymoen, Ragnar, 2013. "Comparative statics for real options on oil: What stylized facts to use?," Memorandum 14/2013, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  5. Robin Boadway & Michael Keen, 2014. "Rent Taxes and Royalties in Designing Fiscal Regimes for Non-Renewable Resources," CESifo Working Paper Series 4568, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Wong, Kit Pong, 2007. "The effect of uncertainty on investment timing in a real options model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 2152-2167, July.
  7. Detert, Neal & Kotani, Koji, 2013. "Real options approach to renewable energy investments in Mongolia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 136-150.
  8. 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.
  9. Tsekrekos, Andrianos E., 2010. "The effect of mean reversion on entry and exit decisions under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 725-742, April.

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