Irreversible Investment with Strategic Interactions
This Paper examines irreversible investment in a project with uncertain returns, when there is an advantage to being the first to invest, and externalities to investing when others also do so. Pre-emption decreases and may even eliminate the option values created by irreversibility and uncertainty. Externalities introduce inefficiencies in investment decisions. Pre-emption and externalities combined can actually hasten, rather than delay, investment, contrary to the usual outcome. These facts demonstrate the importance of extending ‘real options’ analysis to include strategic interactions.
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