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Options, the Value of Capital, and Investment

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  • Andrew B. Abel
  • Avinash K. Dixit
  • Janice C. Eberly
  • Robert S. Pindyck

Abstract

Capital investment decisions must recognize the limitations on the firm's ability to later sell or expand capacity. This paper shows how opportunities for future expansion or contraction can be valued as options, how their valuation relates to the q theory of investment, and their effect on the incentive to invest. Generally, the option to expand reduces the incentive to invest, while the option to disinvest raises it. We show how these options determine the effect of uncertainty on investment, how they are changed by shifts of the distribution of future profitability, and how the q-theory and option pricing approaches are related.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew B. Abel & Avinash K. Dixit & Janice C. Eberly & Robert S. Pindyck, 1996. "Options, the Value of Capital, and Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 753-777.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:111:y:1996:i:3:p:753-777.
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Abel, Andrew B & Eberly, Janice C, 1994. "A Unified Model of Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1369-1384, December.
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