The introduction of the concepts of continuous-time optimization and stochastic process that have enabled financial economists to integrate both dynamics and uncertainty into the study of optimal intertemporal allocations of resources, portfolio selection, and the dynamic behaviour of security prices represents one of the great advances in economic theory of this generation. The ramifications of these concepts have been felt not only in the realm of academic economics but in the practice of investment banking, money management, and arbitrage trading. Economic theorists and finance practitioners alike turn to the work of Robert C. Merton as the seedbed for the theory of continuous-time finance theory. In this book, Merton provides an overview and synthesis of finance theory from the perspective of continuous-time analysis that covers individual financial choice, corporate finance, financial intermediation, capital markets, and selected topics on the interface between private and public finance. The volume is built around Merton's most prominent papers, which he has brought up to date with postscripts, and newly written chapters on recent developments in portfolio theory, option and other derivative security pricing, financial intermediation, capital asset pricing, and general equilibrium analysis. Paul Samuelson.
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Robert C. Merton's widely-used text provides an overview and synthesis of finance theory from the perspective of continuous-time analysis. It covers individual financial choice, corporate finance, financial intermediation, capital markets, and selected topics on the interface between private and public finance. For this revised edition a new section on managing university endowments has been added.
The book begins with a foreword by Paul Samuelson.Review:
"The thoughtful way in which the book is organized, the connective sections, and the fullness of this remarkable scholar's accomplishments, succeed in making this collection into a watershed event in finance. It is a testament to how much of modern finance he has formulated, advanced, and, in a meaningful sense, brought to a satisfactory completeness. Modern finance has much to do, but it can do no better than to add to what Merton has already done, and I recommend this book to all who wish to learn what finance has been up to for the past two decades." Stephen Ross, Journal of Finance
"I do not see how one can undertake research in intertemporal asset-pricing under uncertainty without studying very carefully the past and present work of Robert C. Merton. Accordingly, Basil Blackwell has done the academic and non-academic finance community a great service by publishing this book." Michael Selby, The Economic Journal
"A coherent text that represents a bible on continuous-time finance. Anyone with an interest in financial economics will be aware of the outstanding achievements of Robert C. Merton. To these individuals the book will come as no disappointment. It will undoubtedly be a classic reference on continuous-time finance for many years to come." The Manchester School
"John Maynard Keynes alludes to economics in the following terms ...'the delightful paths of our own most agreeable branch of moral sciences, in which theory and fact, intuitive imagination and practical judgment, are blended in a manner comfortable to the human intellect.' Robert C. Merton's Continuous-time Finance, which comes to us more than 20 years after his first paper appeared, squarely fits this description." Suresh Sundaresan, Columbia University, The Review of Financial Studies
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