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Commitment as investment under uncertainty

  • Joseph A. Ritter
  • Joseph H. Haubrich

Irreversible investment and the techniques associated with pricing real options have led to significant advances many areas. We broaden this range of applications, showing how the techniques can apply to many policy problems in finance, macroeconomics, and trade policy. With small changes, standard techniques can handle a broad range of strategic problems related to policy. The decision to commit is like the decision to make an irreversible investment. Explicitly considering and correctly valuing the option to wait makes discretion relatively more attractive, implies that increased uncertainty increases the gain to discretion, and results in policy which displays hysteresis.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 1995-004.

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Date of creation: 1996
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:1995-004
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  1. George J. Mailath & Loretta J. Mester, 1993. "A positive analysis of bank closure," Working Papers 93-10/R, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  2. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  3. Lambson, Val Eugene, 1992. "Competitive Profits in the Long Run," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 125-42, January.
  4. Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-86, March.
  5. Robert P. Flood & Peter Isard, 1989. "Monetary Policy Strategies," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 36(3), pages 612-632, September.
  6. Joseph G. Haubrich & Joseph A. Ritter, 1996. "Dynamic commitment and imperfect policy rules," Working Paper 9601, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  7. Robert P. Flood & Peter Isard, 1988. "Monetary Policy Strategies," NBER Working Papers 2770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Flood, Robert P & Garber, Peter M, 1984. "Gold Monetization and Gold Discipline," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 90-107, February.
  9. John Y. Campbell, 1995. "Some Lessons from the Yield Curve," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1713, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  10. McDonald, Robert & Siegel, Daniel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-27, November.
  11. Pindyck, Robert S, 1991. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Investment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 1110-48, September.
  12. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1995. "The Mirage of Fixed Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 5191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Pindyck, Robert S., 1975. "Optimal stabilization policies under decentralized control and conflicting objectives," Working papers 765-75., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  15. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-38, June.
  16. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 5474, April.
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