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Institutional Perspectives on Real Estate Investing: The Role of Risk and Uncertainty


  • Ravi Dhar
  • William Goetzmann


In this paper we address the factors influencing the institutional decision to allocate resources to real estate. We survey a sample of major institutional investors via a web questionnaire. They were willing to answer questions about their target real estate allocation, their plans to increase or decrease their allocation, the major reasons for investing in real estate, and views on the major risks and relative expense of doing so. We find that the endowments in our sample typically had a relatively short history of real estate investment, but planned to increase their allocation to the asset class - more so than pension funds. We also find uncertainty about use of historical data to be a significant factor in the allocation choice.

Suggested Citation

  • Ravi Dhar & William Goetzmann, 2005. "Institutional Perspectives on Real Estate Investing: The Role of Risk and Uncertainty," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm457, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Jul 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm457

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bryan Routledge & Stanley Zin, 2009. "Model Uncertainty and Liquidity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(4), pages 543-566, October.
    2. M. Mufakharul Islam, 1986. "Discussion," The Indian Economic & Social History Review, , vol. 23(2), pages 217-226, June.
    3. Epstein, Larry G & Wang, Tan, 1994. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing Under Knightian Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 283-322, March.
    4. Colin F. Camerer & Howard Kunreuther, 1989. "Decision processes for low probability events: Policy implications," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(4), pages 565-592.
    5. Robert Lensink & Paul Steen & Elmer Sterken, 2005. "Uncertainty and Growth of the Firm," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 381-391, May.
    6. Johan Walden, 2004. "Real Investments under Knightian Uncertainty," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2496, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Apr 2004.
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    Cited by:

    1. Buss, Adrian & Uppal, Raman & Vilkov, Grigory, 2015. "Where Experience Matters: Asset Allocation and Asset Pricing with Opaque and Illiquid Assets," CEPR Discussion Papers 10437, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Matthew Cypher & S McKay Price & Spenser Robinson & Michael J. Seiler, 2017. "Price Signals and Uncertainty in Commercial Real Estate Transactions," Framed Field Experiments 00626, The Field Experiments Website.
    3. Jim Clayton & Greg MacKinnon & Liang Peng, 2008. "Time Variation of Liquidity in the Private Real Estate Market: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 30(2), pages 125-160.

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    Behavioral Finance; real estate; investing; risk; uncertainty;

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