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Who thinks about the competition? Managerial ability and strategic entry in US local telephone markets

  • Avi Goldfarb


    (Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto)

  • Mo Xiao


    (Eller College of Management, University of Arizona)

This paper examines how manager and firm characteristics relate to entry decisions in US local telephone markets. To do so, it develops a structural econometric model that allows managers to be heterogeneous in their ability to correctly conjecture competitor behavior. The model adapts Camerer, Ho, and Chong’s (2004) Cognitive Hierarchy model to a real-world setting. We observe the industry in 1998, shortly after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 opened up the market. We find that older firms with older, more experienced managers have higher estimated levels of strategic ability. Managers with degrees in economics or business, and managers with graduate degrees, also have higher estimated levels of strategic ability. We find no evidence that university quality is related to ability. We repeat this exercise using data from 2000, 2002, and 2004. While the core results do not change, the overall level of measured strategic ability increases substantially by 2004. The estimates of strategic ability are also correlated with survival: those firms with lower estimated levels of ability are more likely to exit the industry early.

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Paper provided by NET Institute in its series Working Papers with number 08-21.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision: Oct 2008
Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:0821
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  1. Bresnahan, T.F & Reiss, P.C., 1989. "Entry And Competition In Concentrated Markets," Papers 151, Stanford - Studies in Industry Economics.
  2. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2005. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," NBER Working Papers 11555, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Nicholas Economides & V. Brian Viard & Katja Seim, 2005. "Quantifying the Benefits of Entry into Local Phone Service," Working Papers 05-08, NET Institute, revised Nov 2005.
  4. Judith Chevalier & Glenn Ellison, 1996. "Are Some Mutual Funds Managers Better Than Others? Cross-Sectional Patterns in Behavior and Performance," NBER Working Papers 5852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ignacio Esponda, 2008. "Behavioral Equilibrium in Economies with Adverse Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1269-91, September.
  6. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
  7. Panle Jia, 2008. "What Happens When Wal-Mart Comes to Town: An Empirical Analysis of the Discount Retailing Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1263-1316, November.
  8. Ali Hortaçsu & Steven L. Puller, 2008. "Understanding strategic bidding in multi-unit auctions: a case study of the Texas electricity spot market," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(1), pages 86-114.
  9. Katja Seim, 2006. "An empirical model of firm entry with endogenous product‐type choices," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 619-640, 09.
  10. Aradillas-Lopez, Andres & Tamer, Elie, 2008. "The Identification Power of Equilibrium in Simple Games," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 261-310.
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