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Preemption, leverage, and financing constraints

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  • Nishihara, Michi
  • Shibata, Takashi

Abstract

This paper investigates the interactions between preemptive competition and leverage in a duopoly market. We investigate both a case in which the firms have optimal financial structures, and a case in which financing constraints require firms to finance their investments by debt. Our findings are that the second mover always leaves the duopoly market before the leader, although the leader may exit before the follower's entry. The leverage effects of debt financing can increase the value of a firm and accelerate investment, even in the presence of preemptive competition. Notably, financing constraints can delay preemptive investment and improve firm values in preemptive equilibrium. Indeed, the leader's high leverage due to financing constraints can lower the first-mover advantage and weaken preemptive competition. Especially with strong first-mover advantage, the financing constraint effects can dominate the leverage effects. These findings are almost consistent with the empirical evidence, which shows that high leverage leads to competitive disadvantage and mitigates product market competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Nishihara, Michi & Shibata, Takashi, 2014. "Preemption, leverage, and financing constraints," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 75-89.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:revfin:v:23:y:2014:i:2:p:75-89
    DOI: 10.1016/j.rfe.2013.10.001
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    3. Michi Nishihara, 2021. "Preemptive competition between two firms with different discount rates," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 42(3), pages 675-687, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Preemption; Duopoly; Capital structure; Financing constraints; Real options;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation

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