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The Effect of Risk on the Firm's Optimal Capital Stock: A Note

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  • Kevin J. Maloney
  • William J. Marshall
  • Jess B. Yawitz
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    Abstract

    In this paper we extend the recent work on the choice of input mix under uncertainty. In particular, we demonstrate that the qualitative nature of the disturbance term, along with the decision sequence, is a crucial determinant of the overall effect of uncertainty on the optimal input mix of a firm. Using general demand and production functions in conjunction with a mean-variance framework for financial valuation, we demonstrate the differential effects of systematic and non-systematic risk on the firm's choice of an optimal input mix. Consistent with earlier work in economics, this analysis demonstrates that uncertainty, regardless of the source, has important implications for the firm's choice of technology.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w1132.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1132.

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    Date of creation: May 1983
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1132

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    1. Loistl, Otto, 1976. "The Erroneous Approximation of Expected Utility by Means of a Taylor's Series Expansion: Analytic and Computational Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 904-10, December.
    2. Greenberg, Edward & Marshall, William J & Yawitz, Jess B, 1978. "The Technology of Risk and Return," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(3), pages 241-51, June.
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