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Sequential Investment Decisions with Bayesian Learning


  • R. M. Cyert

    (Carnegie-Mellon University)

  • M. H. DeGroot

    (Carnegie-Mellon University)

  • C. A. Holt

    (University of Minnesota)


This paper analyzes investment decisions that can be made in a modular form. It is motivated by the empirical observation that managements are particularly worried about "downside" risk. With a sequential approach this risk is minimized. An investment in a module produces information as well as profits or losses. In our model a larger investment produces more information in addition to larger profits or losses. Costs for changing the level of the investment from period to period are introduced. The optimal sequential investment policy is studied for a two-period problem. Conditions are presented under which no investment, a partial investment, or a full investment in the first period is optimal.

Suggested Citation

  • R. M. Cyert & M. H. DeGroot & C. A. Holt, 1978. "Sequential Investment Decisions with Bayesian Learning," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(7), pages 712-718, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:24:y:1978:i:7:p:712-718

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jacob A. Mincer & Victor Zarnowitz, 1969. "The Evaluation of Economic Forecasts," NBER Chapters,in: Economic Forecasts and Expectations: Analysis of Forecasting Behavior and Performance, pages 3-46 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. N/A, 1962. "Summary," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 19(1), pages 3-3, February.
    3. N/A, 1962. "Summary," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 20(1), pages 3-3, May.
    4. N/A, 1962. "Summary," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 21(1), pages 3-3, August.
    5. J. G. Cragg & Burton G. Malkiel, 1968. "The Consensus And Accuracy Of Some Predictions Of The Growth Of Corporate Earnings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 23(1), pages 67-84, March.
    6. N/A, 1962. "Summary," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 22(1), pages 3-3, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yue, Xiaohang & Mukhopadhyay, Samar K. & Zhu, Xiaowei, 2006. "A Bertrand model of pricing of complementary goods under information asymmetry," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 59(10-11), pages 1182-1192, October.
    2. Anna Grandori, 2013. "Models of rationality in economic organization: ‘economic’, ‘experiential’ and ‘epistemic’," Chapters,in: Handbook of Economic Organization, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Ludwig, Alexander & Zimper, Alexander, 2014. "Biased Bayesian learning with an application to the risk-free rate puzzle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 79-97.
    4. Alexander Zimper, 2011. "Do Bayesians Learn Their Way Out of Ambiguity?," Decision Analysis, INFORMS, vol. 8(4), pages 269-285, December.

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