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Short-run policy commitment when investment timing is endogenous: "More harm than good?"

  • Gerda Dewit


    (National University of Ireland Maynooth)

  • Dermot Leahy


    (University College Dublin)

We introduce endogenous leadership in a game between government and firms, in which the government has short-run commitment power only and firms choose when to invest. We show that firms that delay investment in the absence of government intervention have an incentive to invest early and strategically under policy activism. Then, even though a policy scheme succeeds in correcting an existing distortion targeted by the government, it can create a new and potentially more harmful one. We investigate when the government may do better by adhering to laissez-faire than by engaging in active policy intervention.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth in its series Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series with number n1400904.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:may:mayecw:n1400904
Contact details of provider: Postal: Maynooth, Co. Kildare
Phone: 353-1-7083728
Fax: 353-1-7083934
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  1. Neary, J.P. & Leahy, D., 1998. "Strategic Trade and Industrial Policy Towards Dynamic Oligopolies," Papers 98/14, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  2. Spencer, Barbara J. & Brander, James A., 1992. "Pre-commitment and flexibility : Applications to oligopoly theory," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1601-1626, December.
  3. Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-86, March.
  4. Hamilton, Jonathan H. & Slutsky, Steven M., 1990. "Endogenous timing in duopoly games: Stackelberg or cournot equilibria," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 29-46, March.
  5. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-85, December.
  6. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  7. Dewit, Gerda & Leahy, Dermot, 2004. "Rivalry in uncertain export markets: commitment versus flexibility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 195-209, October.
  8. Sadanand, Asha & Sadanand, Venkatraman, 1996. "Firm Scale and the Endogenous Timing of Entry: a Choice between Commitment and Flexibility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 516-530, August.
  9. R. W. Staiger & G. Tabellini, 1999. "Do Gatt Rules Help Governments Make Domestic Commitments?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 109-144, 07.
  10. Rodrik, Dani, 1987. "Policy Targeting with Endogenous Distortions: Theory of Optimum Subsidy Revisited," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 903-11, November.
  11. Rodrik, Dani, 1992. "Political economy and development policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 329-336, April.
  12. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
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