This book offers a framework for making decisions under risk and uncertainty. Synthesizing research from economics, finance, decision theory, management, and other fields, the book provides a set of tools and a way of thinking that determines the relative merits of different strategies. It takes as its premise that we make better decisions if we use the whole toolkit of economics and related fields to inform our decision making.
The text explores the distinction between risk and uncertainty and covers standard models of decision making under risk as well as more recent work on decision making under uncertainty, with a particular focus on strategic interaction. It also examines the implications of incomplete markets for managing under uncertainty. It presents four core strategies: a benchmark strategy (proceeding as if risk and uncertainty were low), a financial hedging strategy (valuable if there is much risk), an operational hedging strategy (valuable for conditions of much uncertainty), and a flexible strategy (valuable if there is much risk and/or uncertainty). The book then examines various aspects of these strategies in greater depth, building on empirical work in several different fields. Topics include price-setting, real options and Monte Carlo techniques, organizational structure, and behavioral biases. Many chapters include exercises and appendixes with additional material. The book can be used in graduate or advanced undergraduate courses in risk management, as a guide for researchers, or as a reference for management practitioners.
Richard Friberg is Jacob Wallenberg Professor of Economics and Chairman of the Department of Economics at Stockholm School of Economics.