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An Opportunity Cost Model to Value a Deferral Option

32 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2012  

Gyutai Kim

Chosun University - Department of Industrial Engineering

Luke.T. Miller

Fort Lewis College

Date Written: August 1, 2012


This paper discusses the real option valuation approach based on the familiar opportunity cost concept. The model presented decomposes the deferral option value into four contributing components - interest earning opportunity, expected opportunity gain, present value, and investment cost. After demonstrating the equivalence of the opportunity model to Cox, Ross, and Rubinstein’s (CRR) binomial lattice approach, its attributes are discussed through simple numerical examples. In contrast with the CRR approach, the opportunity model’s transparency provides an intuitive and economical baseline for managerial discussion and decision-making. Additionally, the appropriateness of risk-neutral probabilities to value real options is discussed in the context of actual (or real) probabilities. Finally, it should be emphasized that the discussion of the paper be concentrated on the opportunity costs inherently embedded in the real options value, therefore, it is different from other works per se which consider them as the exogenous input to the real options value

Keywords: binomial lattice model, capital budgeting, decision making/process, opportunity cost, real options

JEL Classification: G12,G31

Suggested Citation

Kim, Gyutai and Miller, Luke.T., An Opportunity Cost Model to Value a Deferral Option (August 1, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Gyutai Kim (Contact Author)

Chosun University - Department of Industrial Engineering ( email )

3215 The 2nd Building of College of Engineering
375 Seosuk-Dong, Dong-Gu
Kwangju 501-759
82-62-230-7122 (Phone)
82-62-230-7128 (Fax)

Luke.T. Miller

Fort Lewis College ( email )

United States

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