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Bayesian Learning and the Optimal Investment Decision of the Firm


  • Tonks, Ian


This paper is about learning. It illustrates how in a two period allocation problem with uncertainty in each period, an economic agent's decisions are influenced by the knowledge that he is able to learn about the uncertainty. The time periods are linked through the learning process of the economic agent. The problem to be analysed is that faced by a firm deciding whether or not to invest in a new technology or production process, whose returns are not known with certainty. Because of the two period environment, the firm is able to experiment with the new process in the first period, and observe the results before making another investment decision at the beginning of the second. Goven the opportunity for learning, how will this affect the decision of the firm in the first period?

Suggested Citation

  • Tonks, Ian, 1981. "Bayesian Learning and the Optimal Investment Decision of the Firm," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 192, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:192

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Bruno & Jeffrey Sachs, 1982. "Energy and Resource Allocation: A Dynamic Model of the "Dutch Disease"," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(5), pages 845-859.
    2. Bruno, Michael, 1982. " Adjustment and Structural Change under Supply Shocks," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 84(2), pages 199-221.
    3. Michael Bruno & Jeffrey Sachs, 1982. "Energy and Resource Allocation: A Dynamic Model of the "Dutch Disease"," NBER Working Papers 0852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. A. Ludwig & A. Zimper, 2013. "A parsimonious model of subjective life expectancy," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 75(4), pages 519-541, October.
    2. Zimper, Alexander, 2009. "Half empty, half full and why we can agree to disagree forever," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 283-299, August.
    3. Alexander Zimper & Alexander Ludwig, 2007. "Attitude polarization," MEA discussion paper series 07155, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    4. Ludwig, Alexander & Zimper, Alexander, 2014. "Biased Bayesian learning with an application to the risk-free rate puzzle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 79-97.
    5. Alexander Zimper & Alexander Ludwig, 2009. "On attitude polarization under Bayesian learning with non-additive beliefs," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 181-212, October.
    6. Alexander Zimper, 2011. "Do Bayesians Learn Their Way Out of Ambiguity?," Decision Analysis, INFORMS, vol. 8(4), pages 269-285, December.
    7. Chade, Hector & Schlee, Edward, 2002. "Another Look at the Radner-Stiglitz Nonconcavity in the Value of Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 421-452, December.

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