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Risk spillovers and hedging: why do firms invest too much in systemic risk?

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  • Bert WILLEMS
  • Joris MORBEE

Abstract

In this paper we show that free entry decisions may be socially inefficient, even in a perfectly competitive homogeneous goods market with non-lumpy investments. In our model, inefficient entry decisions are the result of risk-aversion of incumbent producers and consumers, combined with incomplete financial markets which limit risk-sharing between market actors. Investments in productive assets affect the distribution of equilibrium prices and quantities, and create risk spillovers. From a societal perspective, entrants underinvest in technologies that would reduce systemic sector risk, and may overinvest in risk-increasing technologies. The inefficiency is shown to disappear when a complete financial market of tradable risk-sharing instruments is available, although the introduction of any individual tradable instrument may actually decrease efficiency. We therefore believe that sectors without well-developed financial markets will benefit from sector-specific regulation of investment decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Bert WILLEMS & Joris MORBEE, 2011. "Risk spillovers and hedging: why do firms invest too much in systemic risk?," Working Papers Department of Economics ces11.17, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces11.17
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Schmalensee, Richard, 1981. "Economies of Scale and Barriers to Entry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1228-1238, December.
    2. Hugonnier, Julien & Morellec, Erwan, 2007. "Corporate control and real investment in incomplete markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1781-1800, May.
    3. Stylianos Perrakis & George Warskett, 1983. "Capacity and Entry Under Demand Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 495-511.
    4. Franco Modigliani, 1958. "New Developments on the Oligopoly Front," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 215-215.
    5. Dixit, Avinash, 1980. "The Role of Investment in Entry-Deterrence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(357), pages 95-106, March.
    6. Eric S. Maskin, 1999. "Uncertainty and entry deterrence," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 14(2), pages 429-437.
    7. Willems, Bert & Morbee, Joris, 2010. "Market completeness: How options affect hedging and investments in the electricity sector," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 786-795, July.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L97 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Utilities: General
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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