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Irreversible, Unobservable, Costly Investment in the Presence of Rivals

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  • Carolyn Pitchik

Abstract

The author identifies circumstances in which an agent makes a costly, unobservable, irreversible investment that affects the subsequent noisy economic environment. Rivals infer that the agent is strong, even though it initially appeared weak, if enough 'strength' is seen subsequently. Comparative statics reveal that the higher is the rivals' opportunity cost, the more likely is the agent not to make the costly investment. As the amount of noise decreases, the probability that a challenge occurs decreases. In addition, as the amount of noise decreases, the probability that the agent invests increases (decreases) if the rivals' opportunity cost is relatively high (low).

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 31 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 77-91

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:31:y:1998:i:1:p:77-91

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  1. Richard Startz & Lundberg, . "Private Discrimination and Social Intervention in Competitive Labor Markets," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 19-81, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  2. Pitchik Carolyn, 1993. "Commitment, Reputation, and Entry Deterrence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 268-287, April.
  3. Kyle Bagwell, 1992. "Commitment and Observability in Games," Discussion Papers 1014, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
  5. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1982. "Predation, reputation, and entry deterrence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 280-312, August.
  6. Hilke, John C. & Nelson, Philip B., 1987. "Caveat innovator : Strategic and structural characteristics of new product introductions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 213-229, June.
  7. Carmichael, H Lorne, 1989. "Self-Enforcing Contracts, Shirking, and Life Cycle Incentives," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 65-83, Fall.
  8. Jean-Pierre Benoit, 1984. "Financially Constrained Entry in a Game with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 490-499, Winter.
  9. Dixit, Avinash, 1979. "The Role of Investment in Entry-Deterrence," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 140, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  10. Jeremy I. Bulow & John Geanakoplos & Paul D. Klemperer, 1983. "Multimarket Oligopoly," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 674, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
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