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Knightian Uncertainty, k-Ignorance, and Optimal Timing

  • Luis H. R. Alvarez


    (Department of Economics, Turku School of Economics)

We investigate within a continuous time setting how Knightian uncertainty characterized by k-ignorance affects the optimal timing policies of a risk-neutral and uncertainty averse investor in the case where the exercise payoff is monotonic. We prove that increased Knightian uncertainty unambiguously decreases the value of the optimal timing policy of an uncertainty averse investor. We also show that higher Knightian uncertainty accelerates timing by shrinking the continuation region whenever the termination payoff is independent of Knightian uncertainty. If this independence condition is not fulfilled, then our results indicate that higher Knightian uncertainty may decelerate optimal timing.

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Paper provided by Aboa Centre for Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 25.

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Length: 33
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tkk:dpaper:dp25
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  1. Epstein, Larry G & Wang, Tan, 1994. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing Under Knightian Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 283-322, March.
  2. Larry G. Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2001. "Recursive Multiple-Priors," RCER Working Papers 485, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. Ghirardato, Paolo & Marinacci, Massimo, 2002. "Ambiguity Made Precise: A Comparative Foundation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 251-289, February.
  4. Epstein, Larry G, 1999. "A Definition of Uncertainty Aversion," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 579-608, July.
  5. Luis Alvarez & Rune Stenbacka, 2003. "Optimal risk adoption: a real options approach," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 123-147, December.
  6. Alvarez, Luis H. R., 1998. "Exit strategies and price uncertainty: a Greenian approach," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 43-56, January.
  7. Nishimura, Kiyohiko G. & Ozaki, Hiroyuki, 2007. "Irreversible investment and Knightian uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 668-694, September.
  8. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
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