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Cross Holding and Imperfect Product Markets

  • Matthew J. Clayton
  • Bjorn N. Jorgensen

We consider a two stage game where two firms first take positions in each other's equity (cross holding) and next compete in an imperfect product market. When the firms' products are substitutes, the optimal cross holding involves a short position in the competitor's equity, resulting in an equilibrium with larger quantities produced, lower firm and industry profits, and higher consumer surplus than an equilibrium where short-selling is prohibited. This provides a new rationale for short selling that does not rely on capital market imperfections, such as taxes or private information. In contrast, when two firms' products are complements, a long position in the competitor's equity is optimal, yielding higher quantities and lower prices which results in higher consumer welfare, and higher firm and industry profits.

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Paper provided by New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business- in its series New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires with number 98-020.

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Date of creation: Jan 1998
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Handle: RePEc:fth:nystfi:98-020
Contact details of provider: Postal: U.S.A.; New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics . 44 West 4th Street. New York, New York 10012-1126
Phone: (212) 998-0100
Web page: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/finance/

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  1. Hansen, Robert G & Lott, John R, Jr, 1995. "Profiting from Induced Changes in Competitors' Market Values: The Case of Entry and Entry Deterrence," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 261-76, September.
  2. Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 1990. "Asset Ownership and Market Structure in Oligopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(2), pages 275-292, Summer.
  3. Showalter, Dean M, 1995. "Oligopoly and Financial Structure: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 647-53, June.
  4. Steven D. Sklivas, 1987. "The Strategic Choice of Managerial Incentives," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(3), pages 452-458, Autumn.
  5. Fershtman, Chaim & Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 927-40, December.
  6. Reynolds, Robert J. & Snapp, Bruce R., 1986. "The competitive effects of partial equity interests and joint ventures," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 141-153, June.
  7. Diamond, Douglas W. & Verrecchia, Robert E., 1987. "Constraints on short-selling and asset price adjustment to private information," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 277-311, June.
  8. Flath, David, 1991. "When is it rational for firms to acquire silent interests in rivals?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 573-583, December.
  9. Reitman, David, 1993. "Stock Options and the Strategic Use of Managerial Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 513-24, June.
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