A real options framework to evaluate investments in toll road projects delivered under the two‐phase development strategy

Baabak Ashuri (Economics of the Sustainable Built Environment (ESBE) Lab, School of Building Construction, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
Jian Lu (Economics of the Sustainable Built Environment (ESBE) Lab, School of Building Construction, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
Hamed Kashani (Economics of the Sustainable Built Environment (ESBE) Lab, School of Building Construction, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

Built Environment Project and Asset Management

ISSN: 2044-124X

Publication date: 8 July 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a financial valuation framework based on the real options theory to evaluate investments in toll road projects delivered under the two‐phase development plan.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is based on applying the real options theory to evaluate investments in toll road projects. In particular, the risk‐neutral valuation method is used for pricing flexibility embedded in the two‐phase development plan. Risk‐neutral binomial lattice is used to model traffic uncertainty and to find the optimal time for the toll road expansion. Probabilistic life cycle cost and revenue analysis is conducted to characterize the investor's financial risk profile and determine the flexibility value of the expansion option.

Findings

The flexible, two‐phase development plan can improve the investor's financial risk profile in the toll road project through limiting the downside risk of overinvestment (i.e. decreasing the probability of investment loss) and increasing the expected investment value in a highway project.

Social implications

Private and public sectors can benefit from this valuation framework and use tax dollars and users' fees effectively through avoiding overinvestment in toll road projects.

Originality/value

The framework consists of several integrated features, which distinguish it from existing investment valuation models. The risk‐neutral valuation method for pricing flexibility embedded in the two‐phase development plan is applied. This real options framework is capable of characterizing traffic boundary, at which it is optimal for the investor to expand the toll road. Further, this framework provides the likelihood distribution of when the investor may expand the toll road.

Keywords

Citation

Ashuri, B., Lu, J. and Kashani, H. (2011), "A real options framework to evaluate investments in toll road projects delivered under the two‐phase development strategy", Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 14-31. https://doi.org/10.1108/20441241111143759

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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