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Risk, uncertainty,and option exercise

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  • Jianjun Miao

    () (Department of Economics, Boston University, CEMA, Central University of Finance and Economics, and AFR, Zhejiang University)

  • Neng Wang

    () (Columbia Business School and NBER)

Abstract

Many economic decisions can be described as an option exercise or optimal stopping problem under uncertainty. Motivated by experimental evidence such ast he Ellsberg Paradox, we follow Knight (1921) and distinguish risk from uncertainty. To capture this distinction, we adopt the multiple-priors utility model. We show that the impact of ambiguity on the option exercise decision depends on the relative degrees of ambiguity about continuation payoffs and termination payoffs. Consequently,a mbiguity may accelerate or delay option exercise. We apply our results to investment and exit problems, and show that the myopic NPV rule can be optimal for an agent having an extremely high degree of ambiguity aversion.

Suggested Citation

  • Jianjun Miao & Neng Wang, 2010. "Risk, uncertainty,and option exercise," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2010-029, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2010-029
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    Cited by:

    1. Ulrich, Maxim, 2013. "Inflation ambiguity and the term structure of U.S. Government bonds," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 295-309.
    2. Asano, Takao & Shibata, Akihisa, 2011. "Optimal pricing and quality choice of a monopolist under Knightian uncertainty," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 746-754.
    3. So, Leh-chyan, 2013. "Are Real Options “Real”? Isolating Uncertainty from Risk in Real Options Analysis," MPRA Paper 52493, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Massimo Guidolin & Francesca Rinaldi, 2013. "Ambiguity in asset pricing and portfolio choice: a review of the literature," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 74(2), pages 183-217, February.
    5. repec:eee:jfinec:v:125:y:2017:i:3:p:417-433 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Jianjun Miao, 2003. "Consumption and Saving under Knightian Uncertainty," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-134, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    7. Cho, In-Koo & Kasa, Kenneth, 2014. "An escape time interpretation of robust control," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 1-12.
    8. Trojani, Fabio & Wiehenkamp, Christian & Wrampelmeyer, Jan, 2014. "Ambiguity and Reality," Working Papers on Finance 1418, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
    9. Ling, Aifan & Sun, Jie & Yang, Xiaoguang, 2014. "Robust tracking error portfolio selection with worst-case downside risk measures," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 178-207.
    10. repec:eee:proeco:v:200:y:2018:i:c:p:50-67 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Sara Amoroso & Pietro Moncada-Paternò-Castello & Antonio Vezzani, 2017. "R&D profitability: the role of risk and Knightian uncertainty," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 331-343, February.
    12. Agliardi, Elettra & Sereno, Luigi, 2011. "The effects of environmental taxes and quotas on the optimal timing of emission reductions under Choquet–Brownian uncertainty," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 2793-2802.
    13. Flor, Christian Riis & Hesel, Søren, 2015. "Uncertain dynamics, correlation effects, and robust investment decisions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 278-298.
    14. Fouilloux, Jessica & Moraux, Franck & Viviani, Jean-Laurent, 2015. "Investing in finite-life carbon emissions reduction program under risk and idiosyncratic uncertainty," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 310-320.
    15. Zimper, Alexander, 2012. "Asset pricing in a Lucas fruit-tree economy with the best and worst in mind," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 610-628.
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    17. Tamini, Lota Dabio, 2012. "Optimal quality choice under uncertainty on market development," Working Papers 148589, Structure and Performance of Agriculture and Agri-products Industry (SPAA).
    18. Tamini, Lota D., 2012. "Optimal quality choice under uncertainty on market development," MPRA Paper 40845, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Jianjun Miao, 2004. "A Note on Consumption and Savings under Knightian Uncertainty," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 5(2), pages 299-311, November.
    20. repec:wsi:ijtafx:v:20:y:2017:i:07:n:s0219024917500443 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Zengwu Wang, 2010. "Irreversible Investment of the Risk- and Uncertainty-averse DM under k-Ignorance: The Role of BSDE," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 11(2), pages 313-335, November.
    22. Agliardi, Elettra & Agliardi, Rossella & Spanjers, Willem, 2016. "Corporate financing decisions under ambiguity: Pecking order and liquidity policy implications," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 6012-6020.
    23. Paul Viefers, 2012. "Should I Stay or Should I Go?: A Laboratory Analysis of Investment Opportunities under Ambiguity," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1228, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    24. Jianjun Miao & Neng Wang, 2004. "Investment, Hedging, and Consumption Smoothing," Finance 0407014, EconWPA.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ambiguity; Multiple-priors utility; Real options; Optimal stopping problem;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies

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