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Optimal R&D investment for a risk-averse entrepreneur

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  • Whalley, A. Elizabeth

Abstract

Entrepreneurs investing in R&D projects face technical uncertainty associated with the cost to completion of the project, which is idiosyncratic and inherently unhedgeable. We extend existing real options models of R&D investment to incorporate the cost of bearing this unhedgeable risk and find it decreases risk-averse entrepreneurs' valuations of R&D projects and increases the minimum NPVs required for continued investment in R&D (threshold NPVs) relative to 'unpriced risk' values and threshold NPVs. As in the 'unpriced risk' case, for less risk-averse entrepreneurs with small R&D projects, threshold NPVs remain negative and decrease with technical uncertainty. However, for sufficiently risk-averse entrepreneurs with sufficiently large R&D projects, threshold NPVs can become positive and increase with technical uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Whalley, A. Elizabeth, 2011. "Optimal R&D investment for a risk-averse entrepreneur," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 413-429, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:35:y:2011:i:4:p:413-429
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Xiao, Tiaojun & Xu, Tiantian, 2014. "Pricing and product line strategy in a supply chain with risk-averse players," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 305-315.
    2. Lee, Sang-Ho & Muminov, Timur K. & Tomaru, Yoshihiro, 2017. "Partial Privatization And Subsidization In A Mixed Duopoly: R&D Versus Output Subsidies," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 58(2), pages 163-177, December.

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