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Asymmetric information, option to wait to invest and the optimal level of investment

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  • Lensink, Robert
  • Sterken, Elmer

Abstract

This paper analyzes equilibrium rationing on credit markets in the case of gains from waiting to acquire information about the future profitability of investment. We compare the competitive outcome with the socially optimal level of investment. We show that the opportunity to postpone investment changes the nature of the inefficiencies of the competitive outcome fundamentally. Without the option to wait, high risk firms tend to invest and the outcome is characterized by a situation of underinvestment. If firms can wait high risk firms benefit the most from waiting. In this case low risk firms tend to invest immediately and a situation of overinvestment will result, since from the banks' point of view firms do not delay enough.
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  • Lensink, Robert & Sterken, Elmer, 2001. "Asymmetric information, option to wait to invest and the optimal level of investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 365-374, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:79:y:2001:i:2:p:365-374
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    1. David de Meza & David C. Webb, 1987. "Too Much Investment: A Problem of Asymmetric Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 281-292.
    2. Gale, William G., 1990. "Federal lending and the market for credit," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 177-193, July.
    3. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 5474.
    4. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1986. "The Allocation of Credit and Financial Collapse," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(3), pages 455-470.
    5. Williamson, Stephen D, 1988. "Liquidity, Banking, and Bank Failures," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(1), pages 25-43, February.
    6. Pindyck, Robert S, 1982. "Adjustment Costs, Uncertainty, and the Behavior of the Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 415-427, June.
    7. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    8. Boyd, John H. & Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Financial intermediary-coalitions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 211-232, April.
    9. De Meza, David & Webb, David C., 1988. "Credit market efficiency and tax policy in the presence of screening costs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 1-22, June.
    10. Gale, William G, 1991. "Economic Effects of Federal Credit Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 133-152, March.
    11. Ram T. S. Ramakrishnan & Anjan V. Thakor, 1984. "Information Reliability and a Theory of Financial Intermediation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 415-432.
    12. Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
    13. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-233, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00112522 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Jean-Bernard Chatelain, 2003. "Structural Modelling of Financial Constraints on Investment: Where Do We Stand?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00112522, HAL.
    3. Belleflamme, Paul & Peitz, Martin, 2014. "Asymmetric information and overinvestment in quality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 127-143.
    4. Paolo M. Panteghini, 2002. "On Debt Financing and Investment Timing," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 110-114, Autumn.
    5. Caren Sureth, 2002. "Partially Irreversible Investment Decisions and Taxation under Uncertainty: A Real Option Approach," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(2), pages 185-221, May.

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