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Irreversible Investment and Learning Externalities

  • Décamps, Jean-Paul
  • Mariotti, Thomas

In this paper, we develop a continuous time duopoly model of irreversible investment under uncertainty, where each player may learn about the profitability of an investment by observing the experience of his rival, as well as some costless background information. We show that the resulting war of attrition game has a unique, symmetric perfect Bayesian equilibrium. We determine the impact of changes in the cost distribution and the stochastic environment on the timing of investment. Last, we study how the equilibrium is affected by the introduction of a first-mover advantage.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 97.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Economic Theory, vol.�118, n°1, septembre 2004, p.�80-102.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:677
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  1. Chamley, Christophe & Gale, Douglas, 1994. "Information Revelation and Strategic Delay in a Model of Investment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 1065-85, September.
  2. Dutta, P.K. & Rustichini, A., 1991. "A Theory of Stopping Time Games with Applications to Product Innovations and Asset Sales," Discussion Papers 1991_35, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  3. McDonald, Robert & Siegel, Daniel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-27, November.
  4. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 2001. "Markov Perfect Equilibrium: I. Observable Actions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 191-219, October.
  5. Patrick Bolton & Christopher Harris, 1999. "Strategic Experimentation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 349-374, March.
  6. Caplin, Andrew & Leahy, John V, 1993. "Sectoral Shocks, Learning, and Aggregate Fluctuations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 777-94, October.
  7. Keller, R Godfrey & Rady, Sven, 2009. "Strategic Experimentation with Poisson Bandits," CEPR Discussion Papers 7270, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Maskin, Eric & Riley, John, 2000. "Asymmetric Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 413-38, July.
  9. Rob, Rafael, 1991. "Learning and Capacity Expansion under Demand Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 655-75, July.
  10. Maskin, Eric & Riley, John, 2000. "Equilibrium in Sealed High Bid Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 439-54, July.
  11. Bart Lambrecht & William Perraudin, 1996. "Real Options and Preemption," Archive Working Papers 026, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
  12. Henry, Claude, 1974. "Investment Decisions Under Uncertainty: The "Irreversibility Effect."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 1006-12, December.
  13. Kenneth Hendricks & Dan Kovenock, 1989. "Asymmetric Information, Information Externalities, and Efficiency: The Case of Oil Exploration," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(2), pages 164-182, Summer.
  14. Arrow, Kenneth J & Fisher, Anthony C, 1974. "Environmental Preservation, Uncertainty, and Irreversibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 312-19, May.
  15. Marcel Boyer & Pierre Lasserre & Thomas Mariotti & Michel Moreaux, 2000. "Preemption and Rent Dissipation with Multiple Investments," CIRANO Working Papers 2000s-06, CIRANO.
  16. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1986. "A Theory of Exit in Duopoly," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 943-60, July.
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