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Investment Timing and Vertical Relationships

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  • Billette de Villemeur, Etienne
  • Ruble, Richard
  • Versaevel, Bruno

Abstract

We show that the standard analysis of vertical relationships transposes directly to investment dynamics. Thus, when a firm undertaking a project requires an outside supplier (e.g., an equipment manufacturer) to provide it with a discrete input to serve a growing but uncertain demand, and if the supplier has market power, investment occurs too late from an industry standpoint. The distortion in firm decisions is characterized by a Lerner-type index. Despite the underlying investment option, greater volatility can result in a lower value for both firms. We examine several contractual alternatives to induce efficient timing, a novel vertical restraint being for the upstream to sell a call option on the input. We also extend the model to allow for downstream duopoly. When downstream firms are engaged in a preemption race, the upstream firm sells the input to the first investor at a discount such that the race to preempt exactly offsets the vertical distortion, and this leader invests at the optimal time. These results are illustrated with a case study drawn from the pharmaceutical industry.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 47804.

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Date of creation: 19 Jun 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:47804

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Keywords: Irreversible investment; Preemption; Real options; Vertical relations;

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  1. Thijssen, Jacco J.J. & Huisman, Kuno J.M. & Kort, Peter M., 2012. "Symmetric equilibrium strategies in game theoretic real option models," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 219-225.
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  13. Lambrecht, Bart M., 2004. "The timing and terms of mergers motivated by economies of scale," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 41-62, April.
  14. McDonald, Robert & Siegel, Daniel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-27, November.
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