On the Strategic Use of Debt and Capacity in Imperfectly Competitive Product Markets
AbstractIn capital intensive industries, firms face complicated multi-stage financing, investment, and production decisions under the watchful eye of existing and potential industry rivals. We consider a two-stage simplification of this environment. In the first stage, an incumbent firm benefits from two first-mover advantages by precommiting to a debt financing policy and a capacity investment policy. In the second stage, the incumbent and a single-stage rival simultaneously choose production levels and realize stochastic profits. We characterize the incumbent's first-stage debt and capacity choices as factors in the production of an intermediate good we call "output deterrence." In our two-factor deterrence model, we show that the incumbent chooses a unique capacity policy and a threshold debt policy to achieve the optimal level of deterrence coinciding with full Stackelberg leadership. When we remove the incumbent's first-mover advantage in capacity, the full Stackelberg level of deterrence is still achievable, albeit with a higher level of debt than the threshold. In contrast, when we remove the incumbent's first-mover advantage in debt, the Stackelberg level of deterrence may no longer be achievable and the incumbent may suffer a dead-weight loss. Evidence on the telecommunications industry shows that firms have increased their leverage in a manner consistent with deterring potential rivals following the 1996 deregulation.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for Financial Research in its series SIFR Research Report Series with number 33.
Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: 15 Mar 2004
Date of revision:
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More information through EDIRC
Industrial organization; Deregulation; Deterrence; Capital structure; Capacity; Telecommunications;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
- G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
- L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
- L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-04-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-CFN-2005-04-16 (Corporate Finance)
- NEP-FIN-2005-04-16 (Finance)
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