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Irreversible investment and industry equilibrium (*)


  • Ioannis Karatzas

    () (Departments of Mathematics and Statistics, Columbia University, New York, N.Y. 10027, USA)

  • Fridrik M. Baldursson

    () (National Economic Institute and the Institute of Economic Studies, University of Iceland, Kalkofnsvegur 1, IS-150 Reykjavik, Iceland)


We establish the equivalence of competitive industry equilibrium with a central planner's decision problem under uncertainty, when investment is irreversible. The existence of industry equilibrium is derived, and it is shown that myopic behavior on the part of small agents is harmless, in the sense that it leads to the same decisions as full rational expectations do. Our model is set in continuous time and allows for very general forms of randomness. The methods are based on the probabilistic approach to singular stochastic control theory and its connections with optimal stopping problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Ioannis Karatzas & Fridrik M. Baldursson, 1996. "Irreversible investment and industry equilibrium (*)," Finance and Stochastics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 69-89.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:finsto:v:1:y:1996:i:1:p:69-89
    Note: received: April 1996; final version received: September 1996

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hans Buehler, 2006. "Expensive martingales," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 207-218.
    2. Fengler, Matthias R. & Härdle, Wolfgang & Mammen, Enno, 2003. "Implied volatility string dynamics," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2003,54, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    3. Tomas Björk & Bent Jesper Christensen, 1999. "Interest Rate Dynamics and Consistent Forward Rate Curves," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 323-348.
    4. David Heath & Robert Jarrow & Andrew Morton, 2008. "Bond Pricing And The Term Structure Of Interest Rates: A New Methodology For Contingent Claims Valuation," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Financial Derivatives Pricing Selected Works of Robert Jarrow, chapter 13, pages 277-305 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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    More about this item


    Irreversible investment under uncertainty; industry equilibrium; optimality of myopic decisions; singular stochastic control; optimal stopping;

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies


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