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Estimating a War of Attrition: The Case of the U.S. Movie Theater Industry

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  • Takahashi, Yuya
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    Abstract

    This paper provides a tractable empirical framework to analyze firm behavior in a dynamic oligopoly when demand is declining over time. I modify Fudenberg and Tirole (1986).s model of exit in a duopoly with incomplete information to a model that can be used in an oligopoly, and combine this with an auxiliary entry model to address the initial conditions problem. I estimate this model with panel data on the U.S. movie theater industry from 1949 to 1955, using variations in TV diffusion rates across households, market structure before the exit game starts, and other market characteristics to identify the parameters in the theater’s payoff function and the distribution of unobservable fixed costs. Using the estimated model, I measure strategic delays in the exit process due to oligopolistic competition and incomplete information. The delay in exit that arises from strategic interaction is 2.7 years on average. Out of these years, 3.7% of this delay is accounted for by incomplete information, while the remaining 96.3% is explained by oligopolistic competition.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 424.

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    Date of creation: 17 Oct 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:424

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    1. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner, 1999. "The Optimal Allocation of Prizes in Contests," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 99-75, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
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    9. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2008. "Preschool Television Viewing and Adolescent Test Scores: Historical Evidence from the Coleman Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 279-323, 02.
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    12. Nishiwaki, Masato, 2008. "Horizontal Mergers and Divestment Dynamics in a Sunset Industry," MPRA Paper 21812, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Mary E. Deily, 1991. "Exit Strategies and Plant-Closing Decisions: The Case of Steel," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(2), pages 250-263, Summer.
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