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Short‐Run Policy Commitment When Investment Timing Is Endogenous: ‘More Harm Than Good?’

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  • Gerda Dewit
  • Dermot Leahy

Abstract

We introduce endogenous leadership in a game between government and firms, in which the government has short-run commitment power only and firms choose when to invest. We show that firms that delay investment in the absence of government intervention have an incentive to invest early and strategically under policy activism. Then, even though a policy scheme succeeds in correcting an existing distortion targeted by the government, it can create a new and potentially more harmful one. We investigate when the government may do better by adhering to laissez-faire than by engaging in active policy intervention.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Bulletin of Economic Research.

Volume (Year): 63 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (01)
Pages: 82-107

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Handle: RePEc:bla:buecrs:v:63:y:2011:i:1:p:82-107

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  1. Dewit, Gerda & Leahy, Dermot, 2001. "Rivalry in Uncertain Export Markets: Commitment versus Flexibility," CEPR Discussion Papers 2771, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Sadanand, Asha & Sadanand, Venkatraman, 1996. "Firm Scale and the Endogenous Timing of Entry: a Choice between Commitment and Flexibility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 516-530, August.
  3. Hamilton, J.H. & Slutsky, S.M., 1988. "Endogenous Timing In Duopoly Games: Stackelberg Or Cournot Equilibria," Papers 88-4, Florida - College of Business Administration.
  4. Spencer, Barbara J. & Brander, James A., 1992. "Pre-commitment and flexibility : Applications to oligopoly theory," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1601-1626, December.
  5. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  6. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 1998. "Strategic Trade and Industrial Policy Towards Dynamic Oligopolies," CEPR Discussion Papers 1968, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  8. Rodrik, Dani, 1992. "Political economy and development policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 329-336, April.
  9. Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-86, March.
  10. Rodrik, Dani, 1987. "Policy Targeting with Endogenous Distortions: Theory of Optimum Subsidy Revisited," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 903-11, November.
  11. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-85, December.
  12. R. W. Staiger & G. Tabellini, 1999. "Do Gatt Rules Help Governments Make Domestic Commitments?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 109-144, 07.
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