This article presents a quantitative treatment of uncertainty, in the classical sense of Frank Knight (1921), in an economic assessment model that is based on Real Options Theory. The Knightian concept draws a distinction between uncertainty and risk. Optimal decisions in real options models, once discarded by the decision makers, become suboptimal choices, suggesting the presence of Knightian Uncertainty elements in the decision environment. Suboptimal decisions contradict the basic NPV rule, as the decision makers are rational by assumption. This results in a so-called "ex-post NPV" that harmonizes with that choice, according to the decision rule, by quantitatively determining a degree of uncertainty aversion. By adopting the Choquet Expected Value and a parameter representing uncertainty aversion, and by using the concept of non-additive probabilities, we obtain approximations of "post-decision NPVs" and determine the degrees of uncertainty aversion. The proposed formulation is used to evaluate an R & D project.
|Translated title of the contribution
|Real options under Knightian Uncertainty for Economic Evaluation of Research and Development (R & D) Projects
|Number of pages
|Published - 2015