Optimal size, optimal timing and optimal financing of an investment Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Corporate investment is an important determinant of economic well-being. The existing literature identifies optimal investment size and timing without the possibility of debt financing, as well as the effect of debt financing on investment timing without the option to choose investment size. This paper contributes to the literature by identifying the optimal size, optimal timing and optimal financing for an investment when the firm controls all three decisions (as it usually does in practice). The investment size and investment trigger are generally positively related: when investment is delayed (accelerated) it is larger (smaller) in size, thus the overall effect on investment is ambiguous. However, when tax rate or bankruptcy cost is increased, the trigger rises and size falls, hence the effect on investment is unambiguously negative. The effect of debt financing on investment depends on the amount of debt used; with the optimal amount of debt, investment is delayed relative to the no-debt case, and this delay can be economically significant; however, the investment, when eventually made, will be larger in size. Overall, it is not appropriate to ignore either the firm’s ability to choose investment size or its option to use debt financing, when modeling the investment decision.

publication date

  • December 2011