Investments of uncertain cost
I study irreversible investment decisions when projects take time to complete, and are subject to two types of uncertainty over the cost of completion. The first is technical uncertainty, i.e., uncertainty over the amount of time, effort, and materials that will ultimately be required to complete the project, and that is only resolved as the investment proceeds. The second is input cost uncertainty, i.e., uncertainty over the prices and quantities of labor and materials required, and which is external to the firm's investment activity. I derive a simple decision rule that maximizes the firm's value, and I use it to show how these two types of uncertainty have very different effects on investment decisions. As an example. I analyze the decision to start or continue building a nuclear power plant during the 1980's.
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- Majd, Saman. & Pindyck, Robert S., 1987.
"The learning curve and optimal production under uncertainty,"
1948-87., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- Saman Majd & Robert S. Pindyck, 1989. "The Learning Curve and Optimal Production under Uncertainty," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(3), pages 331-343, Autumn.
- Saman Majd & Robert S. Pindyck, 1987. "The Learning Curve and Optimal Production Under Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 2423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert S. Pindyck, 1990.
"Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Investment,"
NBER Working Papers
3307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Pindyck, Robert S., 1990. "Irreversibility, uncertainty, and investment," Working papers 3137-90., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- Pindyck, Robert, 1989. "Irreversibility, uncertainty, and investment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 294, The World Bank.
- Robert McDonald & Daniel Siegel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-727.
- Roberts, Kevin & Weitzman, Martin L, 1981.
"Funding Criteria for Research, Development, and Exploration Projects,"
Econometric Society, vol. 49(5), pages 1261-88, September.
- M. L. Weitzman & K. Roberts, 1979. "Funding Criteria for Research, Development and Exploration Projects," Working papers 234, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Avinash Dixit, 1992. "Investment and Hysteresis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 107-132, Winter.
- Zeira, Joseph, 1987. "Investment as a Process of Search," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 204-10, February.
- Saman Majd & Robert S. Pindyck, 1985.
"Time to Build, Option Value, and Investment Decisions,"
NBER Working Papers
1654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Majd, Saman & Pindyck, Robert S., 1987. "Time to build, option value, and investment decisions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 7-27, March.
- N. Gregory Mankiw, 1986.
"Consumer Spending and the After-Tax Real Interest Rate,"
NBER Working Papers
1991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- N. Gregory Mankiw, 1987. "Consumer Spending and the After-Tax Real Interest Rate," NBER Chapters, in: Taxes and Capital Formation, pages 97-100 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- N. Gregory Mankiw, 1987. "Consumer Spending and the After-Tax Real Interest Rate," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Capital Accumulation, pages 53-68 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Martin L. Weitzman & Whitney Newey & Michael Rabin, 1981. "Sequential R&D Strategy for Synfuels," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 574-590, Autumn.
- Ben S. Bernanke, 1983. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(1), pages 85-106.
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