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Optimal Entrepreneurial Decisions in a Completely Stochastic Environment


  • Nils H. Hakansson

    (University of California, Berkeley)


This paper develops a normative model of the entrepreneur's decision problem in which the following elements are stochastic: the entrepreneur's preferences, his lifetime, the returns from investments, and the process obeyed by the interest rate. Furthermore, the entrepreneur's preferences are assumed to be sensitive to the opportunities facing him at each decision point as well as other environmental factors. At each decision point the entrepreneur must decide how to allocate his resources between consumption, life insurance, various investment opportunities, and lending/borrowing. His objective is postulated to be the maximization of expected utility from consumption as long as he lives and from the bequest left upon his death. Optimal decision functions are obtained in closed form for a class of utility functions; their properties are examined and compared to those of the optimal strategies of less general models.

Suggested Citation

  • Nils H. Hakansson, 1971. "Optimal Entrepreneurial Decisions in a Completely Stochastic Environment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(7), pages 427-449, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:17:y:1971:i:7:p:427-449

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    Cited by:

    1. Lionel Martellini & Branko UroŇ°evi'{c}, 2006. "Static Mean-Variance Analysis with Uncertain Time Horizon," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(6), pages 955-964, June.
    2. Mousa, A.S. & Pinheiro, D. & Pinto, A.A., 2016. "Optimal life-insurance selection and purchase within a market of several life-insurance providers," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 133-141.
    3. Scott A. Shane & Karl T. Ulrich, 2004. "50th Anniversary Article: Technological Innovation, Product Development, and Entrepreneurship in Management Science," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(2), pages 133-144, February.
    4. Blanchet-Scalliet, Christophette & El Karoui, Nicole & Jeanblanc, Monique & Martellini, Lionel, 2008. "Optimal investment decisions when time-horizon is uncertain," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(11), pages 1100-1113, December.
    5. Blanchet-Scalliet, Christophette & El Karoui, Nicole & Martellini, Lionel, 2005. "Dynamic asset pricing theory with uncertain time-horizon," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(10), pages 1737-1764, October.

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