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Valuation of an R&D project with three types of uncertainty

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  • Michi Nishihara

    () (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)

Abstract

This paper develops an R&D decision-making model in the real options framework. The model is generic enough to capture three types of uncertainty in an R&D project, namely, uncertainty of research duration and costs, market value of technology, and a competitor fs technology development. I derive analytical solutions, which help practitioners and researchers to evaluate various cases of R&D investment. Further, by analyzing the model with a wide range of parameter values, I reveal the following effects of the three types of uncertainty on R&D investment: Higher uncertainty of research duration and costs, unlike market value uncertainty, speeds up investment, especially combined with a higher risk of competition. The investment timing can be U-shaped in the strength of competition because of the trade-off between the preemptive investment effect and the decreased project value effect. These results can account for empirical findings about the uncertainty-investment relation in industries with high R&D intensity and severe competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Michi Nishihara, 2017. "Valuation of an R&D project with three types of uncertainty," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 17-15, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:osk:wpaper:1715
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    File URL: http://www2.econ.osaka-u.ac.jp/library/global/dp/1715.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nishihara, Michi & Shibata, Takashi, 2013. "The effects of external financing costs on investment timing and sizing decisions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1160-1175.
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    4. Lambrecht, Bart & Perraudin, William, 2003. "Real options and preemption under incomplete information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 619-643, February.
    5. Shibata, Takashi & Nishihara, Michi, 2015. "Investment timing, debt structure, and financing constraints," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 241(2), pages 513-526.
    6. M Nishihara, 2012. "Real options with synergies: static versus dynamic policies," Journal of the Operational Research Society, Palgrave Macmillan;The OR Society, vol. 63(1), pages 107-121, January.
    7. Pennings, Enrico & Sereno, Luigi, 2011. "Evaluating pharmaceutical R&D under technical and economic uncertainty," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 212(2), pages 374-385, July.
    8. Lukas, Elmar & Spengler, Thomas Stefan & Kupfer, Stefan & Kieckhäfer, Karsten, 2017. "When and how much to invest? Investment and capacity choice under product life cycle uncertainty," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 260(3), pages 1105-1114.
    9. Gustavo Grullon & Evgeny Lyandres & Alexei Zhdanov, 2012. "Real Options, Volatility, and Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(4), pages 1499-1537, August.
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    11. Nishihara, Michi & Fukushima, Masao, 2008. "Evaluation of firm's loss due to incomplete information in real investment decision," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 188(2), pages 569-585, July.
    12. Cassimon, D. & De Backer, M. & Engelen, P.J. & Van Wouwe, M. & Yordanov, V., 2011. "Incorporating technical risk in compound real option models to value a pharmaceutical R&D licensing opportunity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1200-1216.
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    16. Shibata, Takashi & Nishihara, Michi, 2015. "Investment-based financing constraints and debt renegotiation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 79-92.
    17. Guthrie, Graeme, 2009. "Real Options in Theory and Practice," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195380637.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Capital budgeting; Decision analysis; Risk; R&D; Real options;

    JEL classification:

    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation

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