The Value of Waiting to Invest
This paper studies the optimal timing of investment in an irreversible project where the benefits from the project and the investment cost follow continuous-time stochastic processes. The optimal time to invest and an explicit formula for the value of the option to invest are derived. The rule "invest if benefits exceed costs" does not properly account for the option value of waiting.Simulations show that this option value can be significant, and that for surprisingly reasonable parameter values it may be optimal to wait until benefits are twice the investment cost. Finally, we perform comparative static analysis on the valuation formula and on the rule for when to invest.
|Date of creation:||Nov 1982|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as McDonald, Robert L. and Daniel Siegel. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," Quarterly Journal of Eocnomics, Vol. 101, No. 4, (November 1986), pp. 707-727 .|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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- Baldwin, Carliss Y. & Meyer, Richard F., 1979. "Liquidity preference under uncertainty: A model of dynamic investment in illiquid opportunities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 347-374, December.
- Douglas A. Greenley & Richard G. Walsh & Robert A. Young, 1981. "Option Value: Empirical Evidence from a Case Study of Recreation and Water Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 96(4), pages 657-673.
- Ingersoll, Jonathan Jr., 1977. "A contingent-claims valuation of convertible securities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 289-321, May.
- Claude Henry, 1974. "Option Values in the Economics of Irreplaceable Assets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(5), pages 89-104.
- Ben S. Bernanke, 1983. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(1), pages 85-106.
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