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Incentives to Invest in Electronic Coordination: Under- or Overinvestment in Equilibrium?

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Abstract

Do firms have proper incentives to invest in electronic coordination? We discuss this question in an oligopoly model with a local firm and a distant competitor that may reduce transport costs by investing in electronic coordination. In a two-stage game with investment in the first stage and price or quantity competition with differentiated products in the second stage we compare profit maximizing investment with (constrained) welfare maximization by a social planer. Depending on market demand, firm conduct and investment costs either over- or underinvestment may result: The firm will overinvest if the negative impact on its competitor exceeds the gain in consumer surplus. This is shown to be especially likely under quantity competition with (almost) homogenous products.

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File URL: http://www.wiwi.uni-augsburg.de/vwl/institut/paper/200.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 200.

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Length: pages
Date of creation: Mar 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aug:augsbe:0200

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Web page: http://www.wiwi.uni-augsburg.de/vwl/institut
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Keywords: Electronic Markets; Strategic Investments; Transport Costs; Product Differentiation;

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  1. Karl Morasch & Peter Welzel, 2000. "Emergence of Electronic Markets: Implication of Declining Transport Costs on Firm Profits and Consumer Surplus," Discussion Paper Series 196, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
  2. Farrell, J. & Shapiro, C., 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Papers 17, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  3. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  4. J. Yannis Bakos, 1997. "Reducing Buyer Search Costs: Implications for Electronic Marketplaces," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(12), pages 1676-1692, December.
  5. Vives, Xavier, 1985. "On the efficiency of Bertrand and Cournot equilibria with product differentation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 166-175, June.
  6. Spence, Michael, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 217-35, June.
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