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Contestable Markets under Uncertainty

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  • Elie Appelbaum
  • Chin Lim

Abstract

In this article we present a model of a market which is ex post contestable. We show that in a market characterized by uncertainty a firm will face a tradeoff between efficiency and flexibility and generally will make some precommitments to take advantage of ex ante technologies. We show that in the face of potential entry the incumbent will increase his precommitments and in so doing will affect the probability of entry. The degree of market contestability is therefore endogenously determined by the choice of precommitments. The extent to which precommitments will be used to affect entry probabilities is shown to depend on the efficiency of ex ante production, adjustment costs, and the degree of uncertainty. In particular, we show that the market becomes "more contestable" as the relative efficiency of ex post production increases and as market conditions become more uncertain.

Suggested Citation

  • Elie Appelbaum & Chin Lim, 1985. "Contestable Markets under Uncertainty," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(1), pages 28-40, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:16:y:1985:i:spring:p:28-40
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    Cited by:

    1. Vivek Ghosal, 2003. "Endemic Volatility of Firms and Establishments: Are Real Options Effects Important?," CIG Working Papers SP II 2003-13, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
    2. Gérard Mondello & Evens Salies, 2007. "Fragmenter une activité à risque," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2007-19, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    3. V Ghosal, 2004. "Pre-Emptive Investment Behaviour and Industry Structure," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 9(1), pages 47-68, March.
    4. Gerda Dewit & Dermot Leahy, 2001. "Fighting over Uncertain Demand: Investment Commitment versus Flexibility," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n1060201, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
    5. Le Pape, Nicolas, 2001. "Endettement des firmes et comportements de rivalité : l’apport des principaux modèles en économie industrielle," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 77(2), pages 281-302, juin.
    6. Barla, Philippe & Constantatos, Christos, 2005. "Strategic interactions and airline network morphology under demand uncertainty," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 703-716, April.
    7. Christodoulos Stefanadis, 2003. "Sunk Costs, Contestability, and the Latent Contract Market," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 119-138, March.
    8. Ghosal, Vivek, 2007. "Small is Beautiful but Size Matters: The Asymmetric Impact of Uncertainty and Sunk Costs on Small and Large Businesses," MPRA Paper 5461, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Kevin Lang & William T. Dickens, 1987. "Neoclassical and Sociological Perspectives on Segmented Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 2127, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Cairns, Robert D., 1996. "Uncertain contestability," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 125-131, July.
    11. Vivek Ghosal, 2003. "Firm and Establishment Volatility: The Role of Sunk Costs, Profit Uncertainty and Technological Change," CESifo Working Paper Series 980, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Ghosal, Vivek, 2002. "Impact of Uncertainty and Sunk Costs on Firm Survival and Industry Dynamics," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 86, Royal Economic Society.
    13. Ashiya, Masahiro, 2000. "Weak entrants are welcome," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 975-984, August.
    14. Sebastien Mitraille & Henry Thille, 2017. "Strategic advance sales, demand uncertainty and overcommitment," Working Papers 1708, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    15. Elie Appelbaum, 2001. "Product Differentiation under Uncertainty," Working Papers 2001_4, York University, Department of Economics.
    16. Nalin Kulatilaka & Enrico C. Perotti, 1998. "Strategic Growth Options," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(8), pages 1021-1031, August.
    17. Francisco Ruiz-Aliseda, 2003. "Strategic Commitment Versus Flexibility in a Duopoly with Entry and Exit," Discussion Papers 1379, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    18. Gilbert, Stephen M. & Cvsa, Viswanath, 2003. "Strategic commitment to price to stimulate downstream innovation in a supply chain," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 150(3), pages 617-639, November.
    19. T.W. Ross, 2004. "Sunk Costs and the Entry Decision," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 79-93, June.
    20. Gerda Dewit & Dermot Leahy, 2002. "Time-to-build investment and uncertainty in oligopoly," Working Papers 200207, School of Economics, University College Dublin.

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