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Who Thinks about the Competition? Managerial Ability and Strategic Entry in US Local Telephone Markets

  • Avi Goldfarb
  • Mo Xiao

We examine US local telephone markets shortly after the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The data suggest that more experienced, better-educated managers tend to enter markets with fewer competitors. This motivates a structural econometric model based on behavioral game theory that allows heterogeneity in managers' ability to conjecture competitor behavior. We find that manager characteristics are key determinants in managerial ability. This estimate of ability predicts out-of-sample success. Also, the measured level of ability rises following a shakeout, suggesting that our behavioral assumptions may be most relevant early in the industry's life cycle. (JEL L96, L98, M10)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
Issue (Month): 7 (December)
Pages: 3130-61

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:7:p:3130-61
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  1. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
  2. Nicholas Economides & V. Brian Viard & Katja Seim, 2007. "Quantifying the Benefits of Entry into Local Phone Service," Working Papers 07-38, NET Institute, revised Oct 2007.
  3. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2005. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," NBER Working Papers 11555, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bresnahan, T.F & Reiss, P.C., 1989. "Entry And Competition In Concentrated Markets," Papers 151, Stanford - Studies in Industry Economics.
  5. Panle Jia, 2008. "What Happens When Wal-Mart Comes to Town: An Empirical Analysis of the Discount Retailing Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1263-1316, November.
  6. Judith Chevalier & Glenn Ellison, 1999. "Are Some Mutual Fund Managers Better Than Others? Cross-Sectional Patterns in Behavior and Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 875-899, 06.
  7. Aradillas-Lopez, Andres & Tamer, Elie, 2008. "The Identification Power of Equilibrium in Simple Games," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 261-310.
  8. Katja Seim, 2006. "An empirical model of firm entry with endogenous productÔÇÉtype choices," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 619-640, 09.
  9. Ignacio Esponda, 2008. "Behavioral Equilibrium in Economies with Adverse Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1269-91, September.
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