What is 'Imputed Value'

Imputed value is an assumed value given to an item when the actual value is not known or available. Imputed values are a logical or implicit value for an item, or time set, wherein a "true" value has yet to be ascertained. It would be a best guess estimate, in order to accurately estimate a larger set of values or series of data points. Imputed values can pertain to the value of intangible assets owned by a firm, the opportunity cost associated with an event, or for ascertaining the value of a historical item for which facts about its value at a past point in time are not available.

Also known as "estimated imputation."

BREAKING DOWN 'Imputed Value'

Imputed values can be used in a variety of situations. These include opportunity cost associated with an event, intangible assets owned by a firm, or the value of a historical item for which facts about its value at a past point in time are not available. Additionally, data points in time series data may require estimations in order to complete a full range of figures. So long as the imputed values are fair estimates, there are typically no issues with their use.

Example of Imputed Value

For example: If XYZ company chooses to invest in project A over project B, that choice has an opportunity cost associated with it. The actual dollar cost assigned to that opportunity cost is an imputed value since it is impossible to ascertain the actual amount of the opportunity cost by measuring it. The value of a patent held by ABC company is an imputed cost. It can be estimated how much additional business or revenue has been brought in by owning the patent and how much the value of the company has increased as a result, but it is not possible to measure it definitively in hard dollars.

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