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Capacity precommitment as a barrier to entry: a Bertrand-Edgeworth approach

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  • Beth Allen
  • Raymond Deneckere
  • Tom Faith
  • Dan Kovenock

Abstract

This paper considers the role of capacity as a strategic entry deterrent for a game in which the incumbent and entrant sequentially precommit to capacity levels before competing in price, possibly using mixed strategies. Depending on the magnitudes of the fixed set-up cost, the cost of capacity, and the relative costs of production, the model produces a wide spectrum of equilibrium behaviors, including some not previously suggested in the literature. Interesting deterrence effects occur because firms need time to build. In contrast to much previous work, the incumbent may hold idle capacity when entry is deterred.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 187.

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Date of creation: 1995
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:187

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Keywords: Competition;

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References

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  1. Spulber, Daniel F, 1981. "Capacity, Output, and Sequential Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 503-14, June.
  2. Dixon, Huw, 1985. "Strategic Investment in an Industry with a Competitive Product Market," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(4), pages 483-99, June.
  3. Franco Modigliani, 1958. "New Developments on the Oligopoly Front," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 215.
  4. Deneckere, Raymond J & Kovenock, Dan, 1992. "Price Leadership," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 143-62, January.
    • Raymond Deneckere & Dan Kovenock, 1988. "Price Leadership," Discussion Papers 773, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Allen, Beth, 1993. "Capacity precommitment as an entry barrier for price-setting firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 63-72, March.
  6. Allen, Beth & Hellwig, Martin, 1986. "Price-Setting Firms and the Oligopolistic Foundations of Perfect Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 387-92, May.
  7. Shapiro, Carl, 1989. "Theories of oligopoly behavior," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 329-414 Elsevier.
  8. Deneckere, R., 1989. "Capacity-Constrained Price Competition When Unit Costs Differ," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 958, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  9. Bulow, Jeremy & Geanakoplos, John & Klemperer, Paul, 1985. "Holding Idle Capacity to Deter Entry [The Role of Investment in Entry Deterrence]," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(377), pages 178-82, March.
  10. A. Michael Spence, 1977. "Entry, Capacity, Investment and Oligopolistic Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(2), pages 534-544, Autumn.
  11. David M. Kreps & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1983. "Quantity Precommitment and Bertrand Competition Yield Cournot Outcomes," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 326-337, Autumn.
  12. Richard E. Levitan & Martin Shubik, 1970. "Price Duopoly and Capacity Constraints," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 287, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  13. Dixit, Avinash, 1980. "The Role of Investment in Entry-Deterrence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(357), pages 95-106, March.
  14. Deneckere, R.J. & Kovenock, D., 1994. "Capacity Constrained Price Competition when Unit Costs Differ," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1056, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  15. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1987. "Technological Change, Sunk Costs, and Competition," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 883-947.
  16. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  17. Basu, Kaushik & Singh, Nirvikar, 1990. "Entry-Deterrence in Stackelberg Perfect Equilibria," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(1), pages 61-71, February.
  18. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1984. "The Fat-Cat Effect, the Puppy-Dog Ploy, and the Lean and Hungry Look," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 361-66, May.
  19. Saloner, Garth, 1985. "Excess capacity as a policing device," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-86.
  20. Carl Davidson & Raymond Deneckere, 1986. "Long-Run Competition in Capacity, Short-Run Competition in Price, and the Cournot Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 404-415, Autumn.
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