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Corporate Leverage and Product Differentiation Strategy

  • Stefan ARPING
  • Gyöngyi LÓRÁNTH

We explore the joint determination of product differentiation strategy and corporate leverage in a setting where (i) product differentiation is valued by customers; (ii) debt is necessary to discipline managers; and (iii) liquidation is costly for customers, in particular, when products are highly differentiated from competitors' products. We show that when managerial incentive problems call for high leverage, firms position their products closer to competitors to reduce deadweight costs customers incur in liquidation. We discuss our findings in light of case study evidence.

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Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 02.06.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2002
Date of revision: May 2002
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:02.06
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne

Phone: ++41 21 692.33.20
Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
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  17. Caillaud Bernard & Jullien Bruno & Picard Pierre, 1991. "Competing vertical structures : precommitment and renegotiation," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9125, CEPREMAP.
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  19. Hellmann, Thomas & Puri, Manju, 2000. "The Interaction between Product Market and Financing Strategy: The Role of Venture Capital," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(4), pages 959-84.
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