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Strategic investment and excess capacity: A study of the Taiwanese flour industry



The Taiwanese flour industry’s capacity utilization rate has maintained an extremely low level of 40% for more than 20 years. This article sets up a two-stage game model and uses the strategic effect of the firm’s capital investment on its rivals’ outputs to explain the nature of this excess capacity. The model is tested with panel data from the Taiwanese flour industry by using non-linear three-stage least squares. The evidences indicate that a large capacity built in the past could have been used strategically to reduce other firms’ outputs, in the context of a concerted action among the incumbent firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Tay-Cheng Ma, 2005. "Strategic investment and excess capacity: A study of the Taiwanese flour industry," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 8, pages 153-170, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cem:jaecon:v:8:y:2005:n:1:p:153-170

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1990. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 107-126, March.
    2. Davidson, Carl & Deneckere, Raymond J, 1990. "Excess Capacity and Collusion," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(3), pages 521-541, August.
    3. Dixon, Huw, 1986. "Strategic Investment with Consistent Conjectures," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(0), pages 111-128, Suppl. No.
    4. Osborne, Martin J & Pitchik, Carolyn, 1987. "Cartels, Profits and Excess Capacity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(2), pages 413-428, June.
    5. Dan Kovenock & Raymond Deneckere & Tom Faith & Beth Allen, 2000. "Capacity precommitment as a barrier to entry: A Bertrand-Edgeworth approach," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 15(3), pages 501-530.
    6. Roller, Lars-Hendrik & Sickles, Robin C., 2000. "Capacity and product market competition: measuring market power in a 'puppy-dog' industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 845-865, August.
    7. 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 361-366, May.
    8. Bulow, Jeremy I & Geanakoplos, John D & Klemperer, Paul D, 1985. "Multimarket Oligopoly: Strategic Substitutes and Complements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 488-511, June.
    9. Osborne, Martin J. & Pitchik, Carolyn, 1983. "Profit-sharing in a collusive industry," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 59-74, June.
    10. Osborne, Martin J. & Pitchik, Carolyn, 1986. "Price competition in a capacity-constrained duopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 238-260, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Coccorese, Paolo, 2012. "Banks as ‘fat cats’: Branching and price decisions in a two-stage model of competition," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 64(5), pages 338-363.
    2. Tay-Cheng Ma, 2007. "Import quotas, price ceilings, and pricing behavior in Taiwan's flour industry," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(1), pages 1-15.

    More about this item


    strategic investment; two-stage game; collusion; conjectural variation;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets


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