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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. 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.
  2. Nicholas Economides & Katja Seim & V. Brian Viard, 2005. "Quantifying the Benefits of Entry into Local Phone Service," Working Papers 05-17, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  3. Ali Hortaçsu & Steven L. Puller, 2008. "Understanding strategic bidding in multi-unit auctions: a case study of the Texas electricity spot market," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(1), pages 86-114.
  4. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Reiss, Peter C, 1991. "Entry and Competition in Concentrated Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 977-1009, October.
  5. Foster, Lucia & Haltiwanger, John C. & Syverson, Chad, 2005. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," IZA Discussion Papers 1705, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
  7. Judith Chevalier & Glenn Ellison, 1996. "Are Some Mutual Funds Managers Better Than Others? Cross-Sectional Patterns in Behavior and Performance," NBER Working Papers 5852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ignacio Esponda, 2008. "Behavioral Equilibrium in Economies with Adverse Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1269-91, September.
  9. Katja Seim, 2006. "An empirical model of firm entry with endogenous product‐type choices," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 619-640, 09.
  10. 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.
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