IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Testing Value vs Waiting Value in Environmental Decisions under Uncertainty


  • Giuseppe Attanasi
  • Aldo Montesano


This paper introduces the concept of the Testing Value into the analysis of environmental decisions under uncertainty and irreversibility. This value emerges in situations where the probability of receiving information concerning future economic benefits and costs of development depends on the level of development carried out. We show that when information may be acquired also exogenously, the Testing Value could push a risk-neutral decision maker to preserve more in the present and eventually in the future. The reason is that the Testing Value often leads to a only partial development of the environmental asset; on the contrary, the Waiting Value (a generalization of the quasi-option value à la Arrow and Fisher (1974)) always leads to corner solutions. Althoughits existence stems from endogenous information, surprisingly enough, the Testing Value is positively related to the probability of acquiring information exogenously.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Giuseppe Attanasi & Aldo Montesano, 2010. "Testing Value vs Waiting Value in Environmental Decisions under Uncertainty," LERNA Working Papers 10.01.307, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
  • Handle: RePEc:ler:wpaper:10.01.307

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Maler, Karl-Goran & Fisher, Anthony, 2006. "Environment, Uncertainty, and Option Values," Handbook of Environmental Economics,in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 13, pages 571-620 Elsevier.
    2. Michel Demers, 1991. "Investment under Uncertainty, Irreversibility and the Arrival of Information Over Time," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 333-350.
    3. Pindyck, Robert S., 2000. "Irreversibilities and the timing of environmental policy," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 233-259, July.
    4. Huntley Schaller & Fanny Demers & Michel Demers, 1993. "Investments Under Uncertainty and Irreversibility," Carleton Economic Papers 93-10, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised Sep 1990.
    5. Fisher, Anthony C. & Hanemann, W. Michael, 1987. "Quasi-option value: Some misconceptions dispelled," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 183-190, June.
    6. Fisher, Anthony C. & Krutilla, John V., 1974. "Valuing long run ecological consequences and irreversibilities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 96-108, August.
    7. Pindyck, Robert S, 1991. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Investment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 1110-1148, September.
    8. Miller, Jon R., 1981. "Irreversible land use and the preservation of endangered species," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 19-26, March.
    9. Fisher, Anthony C. & Krutilla, John V., 1985. "Economics of nature preservation," Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics,in: A. V. Kneese† & J. L. Sweeney (ed.), Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 165-189 Elsevier.
    10. Salanié, François & Treich, Nicolas, 2009. "Option Value and Flexibility: A General Theorem with Applications," TSE Working Papers 09-002, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    11. Kenneth J. Arrow & Anthony C. Fisher, 1974. "Environmental Preservation, Uncertainty, and Irreversibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 88(2), pages 312-319.
    12. Chichilnisky, Graciela & Beltratti, Andrea & Heal, Geoffrey, 1998. "Uncertain future preferences and conservation," MPRA Paper 7912, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Ulph, Alistair & Ulph, David, 1997. "Global Warming, Irreversibility and Learning," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 636-650, May.
    14. Epstein, Larry G, 1980. "Decision Making and the Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(2), pages 269-283, June.
    15. repec:wsi:igtrxx:v:10:y:2008:i:03:n:s0219198908001911 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Hanemann, W. Michael, 1989. "Information and the concept of option value," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 23-37, January.
    17. Conrad, Jon M., 2000. "Wilderness: options to preserve, extract, or develop," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 205-219, July.
    18. Henry, Claude, 1974. "Investment Decisions Under Uncertainty: The "Irreversibility Effect."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 1006-1012, December.
    19. A. Myrick Freeman III, 1983. "The Sign and Size of Option Value," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 59(4), pages 1-13.
    20. Batabyal, Amitrajeet A., 1998. "Land development and preservation over time and under uncertainty: a review and a research agenda," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 233-238, June.
    21. Hanemann, W. Michael, 1984. "On Reconciling Different Concepts of Option Value," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt81w7290x, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    22. Jon M. Conrad, 1980. "Quasi-Option Value and the Expected Value of Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(4), pages 813-820.
    23. Miller, Jon R & Lad, Frank, 1984. "Flexibility, learning, and irreversibility in environmental decisions: A bayesian approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 161-172, June.
    24. Fisher, Anthony C & Hanemann, W Michael, 1990. " Information and the Dynamics of Environmental Protection: The Concept of the Critical Period," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 92(3), pages 399-414.
    25. Fisher, Anthony C., 2000. "Investment under uncertainty and option value in environmental economics," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 197-204, July.
    26. Freeman, A. III, 1984. "The quasi-option value of irreversible development," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 292-295, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Higashi, Youichiro & Hyogo, Kazuya & Takeoka, Norio, 2014. "Stochastic endogenous time preference," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 77-92.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ler:wpaper:10.01.307. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Maxime MARTY). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.