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Capacity Precommitment as a Barrier to Entry:A Bertrand-Edgeworth Approach

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Author Info

  • Beth Allen

    (University of Minnesota)

  • Raymond Deneckere

    (University of Wisconsin)

  • Tom Faith

    (Tilburg University)

  • Dan Kovenock

    (Purdue University)

Abstract

With few exceptions, the literature on the role of capacity as a strategic entry deterrent has assumed Cournot competition in the post-entry game. In contrast, our model is in the spirit of Kreps and Scheinkman (1983): the incumbent and entrant sequentially precommit to capacity levels before competing in price. Interesting deterrence effects arise because firms need time to build, i.e. cannot adjust capacity instantaneously in the post-entry game. Depending on the sizes of the fixed set-up cost, the cost of capacity and the relative costs of production, our model produces a wide spectrum of equilibrium behaviors. Using a "reverse-judo" tactic a cost disadvantaged incumbent may limit his capacity to induce the entrant to respond less aggressively. When the incumbent is equally or more efficient, a stochastic version of Gelman and Salop's (1983) judo equilibrium may arise. Entry accommodation can also result in the Stackelberg outcome, or the equilibria from Dixit's (1980) quantity-setting game. In contrast to much previous work, we find that when entry is deterred the incumbent may hold idle capacity.Our model thus provides a unified framework in which several equilibrium phenomena previously suggested in the literature appear as special cases, while at the same time suggesting some new ones. Furthermore, it generates clear predictions about the circumstances under which these different outcomes are likely to occur.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 9411002.

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Date of creation: 14 Nov 1994
Date of revision: 14 Nov 1994
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:9411002

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  1. Allen, Beth, 1993. "Capacity precommitment as an entry barrier for price-setting firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 63-72, March.
  2. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1984. "The Fat-Cat Effect, the Puppy-Dog Ploy, and the Lean and Hungry Look," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 361-66, May.
  3. Spulber, Daniel F, 1981. "Capacity, Output, and Sequential Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 503-14, June.
  4. Raymond Deneckere & Dan Kovenock, 1988. "Price Leadership," Discussion Papers 773, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Raymond Deneckere & Dan Kovenock, 1994. "Capacity-Constrained Price Competition when Unit Costs Differ," Industrial Organization 9411001, EconWPA, revised 15 Nov 1994.
  6. Bulow, Jeremy & Geanakoplos, John & Klemperer, Paul, 1985. "Holding Idle Capacity to Deter Entry [The Role of Investment in Entry Deterrence]," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(377), pages 178-82, March.
  7. Franco Modigliani, 1958. "New Developments on the Oligopoly Front," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 215.
  8. David M. Kreps & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1983. "Quantity Precommitment and Bertrand Competition Yield Cournot Outcomes," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 326-337, Autumn.
  9. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  10. Dixon, Huw, 1985. "Strategic Investment in an Industry with a Competitive Product Market," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(4), pages 483-99, June.
  11. Saloner, Garth, 1985. "Excess capacity as a policing device," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-86.
  12. Shapiro, Carl, 1989. "Theories of oligopoly behavior," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 329-414 Elsevier.
  13. Carl Davidson & Raymond Deneckere, 1986. "Long-Run Competition in Capacity, Short-Run Competition in Price, and the Cournot Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 404-415, Autumn.
  14. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1987. "Technological Change, Sunk Costs, and Competition," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 883-947.
  15. Richard E. Levitan & Martin Shubik, 1970. "Price Duopoly and Capacity Constraints," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 287, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  16. Dixit, Avinash, 1979. "The Role of Investment in Entry-Deterrence," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 140, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  17. Deneckere, R., 1989. "Capacity-Constrained Price Competition When Unit Costs Differ," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 958, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  18. Basu, Kaushik & Singh, Nirvikar, 1990. "Entry-Deterrence in Stackelberg Perfect Equilibria," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(1), pages 61-71, February.
  19. Allen, Beth & Hellwig, Martin, 1986. "Price-Setting Firms and the Oligopolistic Foundations of Perfect Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 387-92, May.
  20. A. Michael Spence, 1977. "Entry, Capacity, Investment and Oligopolistic Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(2), pages 534-544, Autumn.
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