Competition for Scarce Resources
AbstractWe show that the efficient allocation of production capacity can turn a competitive industry and downstream market into an imperfectly competitive one. Even though downstream firms have symmetric production technologies, the downstream industry structure will be symmmetric only if capacity is sufficiently scarce. Otherwise it will be asymmetric, with one large fat capacity-hoarding firm and a fringe of smaller lean and fit firms, so that Tobin`s Q varies inversely with firm size. This is so even if the number of firms is infinitely large. As demand or input quantity varies, the industry may switch between symmetric and asymmetric phases, generating predictions for firm size and costs across the business cycle. Surprisingly, an increase in available capacity resulting in such a switch can cause a reduction in total output and consumer surplus.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 365.
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Multiproduct Firms; Firm Size Distribution; Trade Liberalization; Size Discount; Firm Heterogeneity; Productivity;
Other versions of this item:
- F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies
- F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
- L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
- L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-03-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-COM-2008-03-25 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-CSE-2008-03-25 (Economics of Strategic Management)
- NEP-INT-2008-03-25 (International Trade)
- NEP-MIC-2008-03-25 (Microeconomics)
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