Bankruptcy Cost, Financial Structure and Technological Flexibility Choices
We study the interactions between the capital structure and the technological flexibility choices of firms in a duopoly. When there are bankruptcy costs, a leveraged firm may modify its strategic choices in order to decrease its probability of bankruptcy. We show that, when the capacity level of the inflexible technology is small (large), debt may induce firms to choose less (more) flexible technologies. Debt may be used in a strategic way. We show that debt can be used as a partial collusion tool to increase the expected profits of both firms. We show also that a firm may use debt as a commitment device to increase its own expected profit to the detriment of its rival. Nous étudions dans cet article les interactions entre la structure de financement des firmes et leur choix technologique, en particulier leur flexibilité technologique. Lorsqu'il existe des coûts de faillite, une firme endettée peut modifier ses choix stratégiques afin de diminuer sa probabilité de faillite. Nous montrons, dans le cas où la capacité de la technologie inflexible est faible (élevée), que l'endettement d'une firme peut conduire cette dernière à choisir une technologie moins (plus) flexible. Ces effets de l'endettement sur les choix technologiques peuvent, dans un oligopole, faire l'objet d'un choix stratégique. Nous montrons qu'il existe des cas où l'endettement est utilisé par les firmes comme un outil de collusion partielle et d'autres cas où l'endettement améliore la position stratégique d'une firme au détriment de sa concurrente.
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