IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/joevec/v25y2015i2p323-344.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Sunk costs and the speed of market selection

Author

Listed:
  • Werner Hölzl

    ()

Abstract

This paper studies the influence of sunk costs on industry evolution using the stylized pure selection model developed by Metcalfe. It is shown that sunk costs influence industry dynamics by reducing the speed of the replicator dynamics of competitive selection. Based on the theoretical model, we argue that sunk costs should lead to a reduction of market share reallocation dynamics and a larger share of stable firms. We validate these predictions empirically, finding that higher-sunk-cost industries have a larger share of stable firms and display lower market share dynamics. The result has practical implications for the interpretation of productivity decompositions. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Werner Hölzl, 2015. "Sunk costs and the speed of market selection," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 323-344, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:25:y:2015:i:2:p:323-344
    DOI: 10.1007/s00191-014-0389-x
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00191-014-0389-x
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Giulio Bottazzi & Giovanni Dosi & Nadia Jacoby & Angelo Secchi & Federico Tamagni, 2010. "Corporate performances and market selection: some comparative evidence," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(6), pages 1953-1996, December.
    2. Elizabeth Garnsey & Erik Stam & Paul Heffernan, 2006. "New Firm Growth: Exploring Processes and Paths," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 1-20.
    3. Baily, Martin Neil & Bartelsman, Eric J & Haltiwanger, John, 1996. "Downsizing and Productivity Growth: Myth or Reality?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 259-278, August.
    4. Asplund, Marcus, 2000. "What Fraction of a Capital Investment Is Sunk Costs?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 287-304, September.
    5. Enrico Santarelli & Marco Vivarelli, 2007. "Entrepreneurship and the process of firms’ entry, survival and growth," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(3), pages 455-488, June.
    6. Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1995. "Schumpeterian Patterns of Innovation," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 47-65, February.
    7. Richard Disney & Jonathan Haskel & Ylva Heden, 2003. "Restructuring and productivity growth in uk manufacturing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 666-694, July.
    8. Silverberg, Gerald & Dosi, Giovanni & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1988. "Innovation, Diversity and Diffusion: A Self-organisation Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 1032-1054, December.
    9. Lambson, Val Eugene & Jensen, Farrell E, 1998. "Sunk Costs and Firm Value Variability: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 307-313, March.
    10. Mitsukuni Nishida & Amil Petrin & Sašo Polanec, 2011. "Explaining Reallocation's Apparent Negative Contribution to Growth," LICOS Discussion Papers 29911, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    11. Metcalfe, J S, 1994. "Competition, Fisher's Principle and Increasing Returns in the Selection Process," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 327-346, November.
    12. Adelina Gschwandtner & Val E. Lambson, 2012. "Sunk Costs, Depreciation, and Industry Dynamics," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 1059-1065, November.
    13. Paul Klemperer, 1995. "Competition when Consumers have Switching Costs: An Overview with Applications to Industrial Organization, Macroeconomics, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 515-539.
    14. Valerie A. Ramey & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2001. "Displaced Capital: A Study of Aerospace Plant Closings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 958-992, October.
    15. Coad, Alex, 2007. "Testing the principle of `growth of the fitter': The relationship between profits and firm growth," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 370-386, September.
    16. Winter, Sidney G., 1984. "Schumpeterian competition in alternative technological regimes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 287-320.
    17. Fariñas, Jose C. & Ruano, Sonia, 2005. "Firm productivity, heterogeneity, sunk costs and market selection," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(7-8), pages 505-534, September.
    18. Mueller, Dennis C & Supina, Dylan, 2002. "Goodwill Capital," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 233-253, November.
    19. Cabral, Luis, 1995. "Sunk Costs, Firm Size and Firm Growth," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 161-172, June.
    20. Papke, Leslie E & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(K) Plan Participation Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 619-632, Nov.-Dec..
    21. Albert Bravo-Biosca & Chiara Criscuolo & Carlo Menon, 2016. "What drives the dynamics of business growth?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 31(88), pages 703-742.
    22. Carmen Pagés & Stefano Scarpetta & Gaëlle Pierre, 2009. "Job Creation in Latin America and the Caribbean: Recent Trends and Policy Challenges," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 59978, February.
    23. Michael Dietrich & Jackie Krafft, 2012. "The Economics and Theory of the Firm," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics and Theory of the Firm, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    24. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-638, June.
    25. Lucia Foster & John C. Haltiwanger & C. J. Krizan, 2001. "Aggregate Productivity Growth: Lessons from Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: New Developments in Productivity Analysis, pages 303-372 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. repec:idb:brikps:59978 is not listed on IDEAS
    27. J. Metcalfe, 2002. "On the Optimality of the Competitive Process: Kimura's Theorem and Market Dynamics," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 109-133, May.
    28. Griliches, Zvi & Regev, Haim, 1995. "Firm productivity in Israeli industry 1979-1988," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 175-203, January.
    29. B. Curtis Eaton & Richard G. Lipsey, 1980. "Exit Barriers are Entry Barriers: The Durability of Capital as a Barrier to Entry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 721-729, Autumn.
    30. Breschi, Stefano & Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 2000. "Technological Regimes and Schumpeterian Patterns of Innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(463), pages 388-410, April.
    31. Werner Hölzl, 2014. "Persistence, survival, and growth: a closer look at 20 years of fast-growing firms in Austria," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(1), pages 199-231, February.
    32. Audretsch, David B, 1991. "New-Firm Survival and the Technological Regime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 441-450, August.
    33. Jackie Krafft & Evens Salies, 2008. "The cost of switching Internet providers in the broadband industry, or why ADSL has diffused faster than other innovative technologies: Evidence from the French case," Post-Print hal-00203512, HAL.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Competition; Intensity of competition; Firm growth; Productivity decompositions; L11; D24; B52;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:25:y:2015:i:2:p:323-344. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.