3.9. Discount rates – nominal and real. The role of inflation

We start Week 3 of the Course by the discussion of criteria of choosing investment projects. Beside NPV, the internal rate of return (IRR) and other approaches are introduced. We show why the NPV criterion is the best and why the application of others may lead to wrong investment decisions. Then we focus on the main ideas to be taken into account while setting up cash flow patterns and making the choice of project on the basis of NPV. We mention some special issues – relevant costs, depreciation, inflation. We present the concept of equivalent annual cost (EAC) as a method of comparing projects of different length. Then we study the application of EAC in greater detail in a case.

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