The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Present Value

  • Stephen F. LeRoy
Reference work entry


The present value relation says that, under certainty, the value of a capital good or financial asset equals the summed discounted value of the stream of revenues which that asset generates. Otherwise arbitrage would be possible. Under uncertainty, and if risk neutrality is assumed, the future payoffs are replaced by their conditional expectations. Under risk aversion either the natural probability measure under which expectations are taken must be replaced by a ‘risk-neutral measure’, or the discount factor must be modified by a factor that reflects risk. The present value relation leads to bubbles if a convergence condition is not satisfied.


Arbitrage Bubbles Capital asset pricing model Capital budgeting Capital market efficiency Excess volatility tests Fisher’s separation principle Martingales Present value Risk aversion Risk neutrality Risk premium Risk-neutral probabilities Speculative bubbles Uncertainty Wealth-maximization decision rule 

JEL Classifications

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen F. LeRoy
    • 1
  1. 1.