Structural Estimation of Real Options Models
Warwick Business School - University of Warwick
Polytechnic University of Catalunya
March 1, 2008
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Forthcoming
We propose a numerical approach for structural estimation of a class of Discrete (Markov) Decision Processes emerging in real options applications. The approach is specifically designed to account for two typical features of aggregate data sets in real options: the endogeneity of firms' decisions; the unobserved heterogeneity of firms. The approach extends the Nested Fixed Point algorithm by Rust (1987,1988) because both the nested optimization algorithm and the integration over the distribution of the unobserved heterogeneity are accommodated using a simulation method based on a polynomial approximation of the value function and on recursive least squares estimation of the coefficients. The Monte Carlo study shows that omitting unobserved heterogeneity produces a significant estimation bias because the model can be highly non-linear with respect to the parameters.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 42
Keywords: Real options, Markov Decision Processes, Discrete Decision Processes, Monte Carlo methods
JEL Classification: C15, C63, G13, G31Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: June 8, 2006 ; Last revised: October 16, 2008
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