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Potential Competition in the Presence of Sunk Entry Costs: An Experiment

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  • Dasgupta, Utteeyo

Abstract

I study the effect of sunk entry-costs on potential competition in a multi-market framework, where potential entrants have different home market profits. Although sunk-entry-costs are supposed to increase entry barriers, my experimental results suggest that firms view entry costs differently depending on their home market profits. I find that subjects are reluctant to enter, and compete in another market if they are already earning monopoly rents. Subjects instead, collude tacitly and earn monopoly rents in home markets, thereby weakening the effect of potential competition. In contrast, subjects who earn small secure returns in their home markets aggressively enter the contestable market whenever there are scopes for earning net profits. The threat of entry and the effects of potential competition are strong in the latter situation, forcing the monopoly incumbents to lower prices to limit-pricing levels.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 21945.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Publication status: Published in New Zealand Economics Papers 2.43(2009): pp. 203-225
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:21945

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Keywords: potential competition; contestable markets; sunk cost; limit-pricing; hit-and-run entry; collusion; experiment;

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  1. Shepherd, William G, 1984. ""Contestability" vs. Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 572-87, September.
  2. Peteraf, Margaret A & Reed, Randal, 1994. "Pricing and Performance in Monopoly Airline Markets," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 193-213, April.
  3. Don Coursey & R. Mark Isaac & Margaret Luke & Vernon L. Smith, 1984. "Market Contestability in the Presence of Sunk (Entry) Costs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(1), pages 69-84, Spring.
  4. Kessides, Ioannis N, 1990. "Market Concentration, Contestability, and Sunk Costs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 614-22, November.
  5. Weitzman, Martin L, 1983. "Contestable Markets: An Uprising in the Theory of Industry Structure: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 486-87, June.
  6. Coursey, Don & Isaac, R Mark & Smith, Vernon L, 1984. "Natural Monopoly and Contested Markets: Some Experimental Results," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 91-113, April.
  7. Glenn W. Harrison & Michael McKee, 1985. "Monopoly Behavior, Decentralized Regulation, and Contestable Markets: An Experimental Evaluation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(1), pages 51-69, Spring.
  8. Brock, William A, 1983. "Contestable Markets and the Theory of Industry Structure: A Review Article," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(6), pages 1055-66, December.
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