IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Dynamics of Industry Investments


  • Marcel Boyer
  • Pierre Lasserre
  • Michel Moreaux


We study the development of a duopoly in a continuous-time model of capacity investment under no commitment by firms regarding future actions. While capacity units are costly, indivisible, durable, and large relative to market size, early entry cannot secure a first-mover advantage and both firms are active beyond some level of market development. We evaluate the investment real options in that context. In the early industry development phase, the sole Markov Perfect Equilibrium (MPE) is a preemption equilibrium with the first industry investment occurring earlier (hence being riskier) than socially optimal. Once both firms hold capacity, tacit collusion, taking the form of postponed capacity investment, may occur as a MPE. Volatility and the expected speed of market development play a crucial role in competitive behavior: we show that the emergence of tacit collusion equilibria is favored by higher demand volatility, faster market growth, as well as by lower discount rate. Nous étudions le développement d'un duopole dans un modèle en temps continu d'investissement en capacité sans engagement des firmes quant à leurs actions futures. Bien que les unités de capacité soient coûteuses, indivisibles, durables et de taille non négligeable par rapport au marché, l'entrée hâtive ne peut conférer d'avantage durable et à partir d'un certain niveau de développement du marché, les deux firmes sont en activité. Nous évaluons les options réelles d'investissement dans ce contexte. Initialement, le seul équilibre Markovien parfait (ÉMP) est un équilibre de préemption dans lequel le premier investissement en capacité se produit plus tôt et comporte un risque plus élevé que socialement désirable. Une collusion tacite pour retarder les augmentations de capacité subséquentes peut devenir possible en ÉMP. La volatilité du marché et sa vitesse de croissance jouent un rôle crucial : l'émergence d'équilibres de collusion tacite est favorisée par une volatilité plus grande, une croissance plus rapide et un taux d'intérêt ou d'actualisation plus faible.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcel Boyer & Pierre Lasserre & Michel Moreaux, 2007. "The Dynamics of Industry Investments," CIRANO Working Papers 2007s-09, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2007s-09

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Huisman, Kuno J. M. & Kort, Peter M., 2004. "Strategic technology adoption taking into account future technological improvements: A real options approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 159(3), pages 705-728, December.
    2. Decamps, Jean-Paul & Mariotti, Thomas, 2004. "Investment timing and learning externalities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 80-102, September.
    3. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1987. "Understanding Rent Dissipation: On the Use of Game Theory in Industrial Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 176-183, May.
    4. Posner, Richard A, 1975. "The Social Costs of Monopoly and Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 807-827, August.
    5. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1987. "R&D Rivalry with Licensing or Imitation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 402-420, June.
    6. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1985. "Preemption and Rent Equalization in the Adoption of New Technology," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(3), pages 383-401.
    7. Richard J. Gilbert & Richard G. Harris, 1984. "Competition with Lumpy Investment," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 197-212, Summer.
    8. Helen Weeds, 2002. "Strategic Delay in a Real Options Model of R&D Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 729-747.
    9. Lambrecht, Bart & Perraudin, William, 2003. "Real options and preemption under incomplete information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 619-643, February.
    10. Athey, Susan & Schmutzler, Armin, 2001. "Investment and Market Dominance," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 1-26, Spring.
    11. Fudenberg, Drew & Gilbert, Richard & Stiglitz, Joseph & Tirole, Jean, 1983. "Preemption, leapfrogging and competition in patent races," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-31, June.
    12. Grenadier, Steven R, 1996. " The Strategic Exercise of Options: Development Cascades and Overbuilding in Real Estate Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(5), pages 1653-1679, December.
    13. Harris, Christopher J & Vickers, John S, 1985. "Patent Races and the Persistence of Monopoly," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(4), pages 461-481, June.
    14. Baldursson, Fridrik M., 1998. "Irreversible investment under uncertainty in oligopoly," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 627-644, April.
    15. Dasgupta, P. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1988. "Potential competition, actual competition, and economic welfare," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 569-577, March.
    16. Kenneth J. Arrow & Anthony C. Fisher, 1974. "Environmental Preservation, Uncertainty, and Irreversibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 88(2), pages 312-319.
    17. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, January.
    18. Steven R. Grenadier, 2002. "Option Exercise Games: An Application to the Equilibrium Investment Strategies of Firms," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(3), pages 691-721.
    19. Doraszelski, Ulrich, 2004. "Innovations, improvements, and the optimal adoption of new technologies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1461-1480, April.
    20. John V. Leahy, 1993. "Investment in Competitive Equilibrium: The Optimality of Myopic Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(4), pages 1105-1133.
    21. Marcel Boyer & Pierre Lasserre & Thomas Mariotti & Michel Moreaux, 2001. "Preemption and Rent Dissipation under Bertrand Competition," Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM 20-04, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
    22. Henry, Claude, 1974. "Investment Decisions Under Uncertainty: The "Irreversibility Effect."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 1006-1012, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Bruno Versaevel, 2009. "Cumulative Leadership and Entry Dynamics," Post-Print halshs-00371847, HAL.
    2. Jacco Thijssen & Kuno Huisman & Peter Kort, 2006. "The effects of information on strategic investment and welfare," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 28(2), pages 399-424, June.
    3. Etienne Billette de Villemeur & Richard Ruble & Bruno Versaevel, 2010. "Timing Vertical Relationships," Post-Print halshs-00590310, HAL.
    4. Richard Rubble & Bruno Versaevel, 2008. "On the Tacit Collusion Equilibria of an Investment Timing Game," Post-Print halshs-00373952, HAL.
    5. Marcel Boyer, 2010. "The Measure and Regulation of Competition in Telecommunications Markets," Chapters,in: Regulation and the Evolution of the Global Telecommunications Industry, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Richard Ruble & Bruno Versaevel, 2008. "On the Tacit Collusion Equilibria of an Investment Timing Game," Working Papers 0834, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.

    More about this item


    real options; duopoly; preemption; collusion; lumpy investment; options réelles; duopole; préemption; collusion; investissement en bloc;

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:cir:cirwor:2007s-09. 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: (Webmaster). General contact details of provider: .

    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.