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Investment Timing under Incomplete Information

  • Jean-Paul Decamps
  • Thomas Mariotti
  • Stephane Villeneuve

We study the decision of when to invest in an indivisible project whose value is perfectly observable but driven by a parameter that is unknown to the decision maker ex ante. This problem is equivalent to an optimal stopping problem for a bivariate Markov process. Using filtering and martingale techniques, we show that the optimal investment region is characterised by a continuous and non-decreasing boundary in the value/belief state space. This generates path-dependency in the optimal investment strategy. We further show that the decision maker always benefits from an uncertain drift relative to an 'average' drift situation. However, a local study of the investment boundary reveals that the value of the option to invest is not globally increasing with respect to the volatility of the value process.

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File URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/te/te444.pdf
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Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series with number 444.

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Date of creation: Jan 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stitep:444
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp

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  9. Yaozhong Hu & Bernt Øksendal, 1998. "Optimal time to invest when the price processes are geometric Brownian motions," Finance and Stochastics, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 295-310.
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  13. Veronesi, Pietro, 1999. "Stock Market Overreaction to Bad News in Good Times: A Rational Expectations Equilibrium Model," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(5), pages 975-1007.
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  15. Arrow, Kenneth J & Fisher, Anthony C, 1974. "Environmental Preservation, Uncertainty, and Irreversibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 312-19, May.
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  17. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
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