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The effects of costly exploration on optimal investment timing

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  • Nishihara, Michi
  • Shibata, Takashi

Abstract

This paper investigates a principal-agent model in which an owner (principal) optimizes a contract with a manager (agent) who has been delegated to undertake an investment project. In the model, we explore the effects of costly exploration by which the manager learns the real value of development cost. We show that high exploration cost can lead to a pooling policy not contingent on project type. Further, and more notably, we show that, in the presence of asymmetric information, higher exploration cost leads to wealth transfer from owner to manager and can ultimately improve social welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Nishihara, Michi & Shibata, Takashi, 2011. "The effects of costly exploration on optimal investment timing," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 105-112, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:revfin:v:20:y:2011:i:3:p:105-112
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    Keywords

    Real options Asymmetric information Costly learning Sequential investment Incentive theory;

    JEL classification:

    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies

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