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Investment Timing and Vertical Relationships

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  • Billette de Villemeur, Etienne
  • Ruble, Richard
  • Versaevel, Bruno

Abstract

We show that the standard analysis of vertical relationships transposes directly to investment dynamics. Thus, when a firm undertaking a project requires an outside supplier (e.g., an equipment manufacturer) to provide it with a discrete input to serve a growing but uncertain demand, and if the supplier has market power, investment occurs too late from an industry standpoint. The distortion in firm decisions is characterized by a Lerner-type index. Despite the underlying investment option, greater volatility can result in a lower value for both firms. We examine several contractual alternatives to induce efficient timing, a novel vertical restraint being for the upstream to sell a call option on the input. We also extend the model to allow for downstream duopoly. When downstream firms are engaged in a preemption race, the upstream firm sells the input to the first investor at a discount such that the race to preempt exactly offsets the vertical distortion, and this leader invests at the optimal time. These results are illustrated with a case study drawn from the pharmaceutical industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Billette de Villemeur, Etienne & Ruble, Richard & Versaevel, Bruno, 2013. "Investment Timing and Vertical Relationships," MPRA Paper 47804, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:47804
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jbfina:v:81:y:2017:i:c:p:200-206 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Di Corato, Luca & Moretto, Michele & Rossini, Gianpaolo, 2017. "Financing flexibility: The case of outsourcing," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 35-65.
    3. Billette de Villemeur, Etienne & Ruble, Richard & Versaevel, Bruno, 2015. "On the timing of innovation and imitation," MPRA Paper 69161, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Billette de Villemeur, Etienne & Ruble, Richard & Versaevel, Bruno, 2014. "Innovation and imitation incentives in dynamic duopoly," MPRA Paper 59453, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Billette de Villemeur, Etienne & Ruble, Richard & Versaevel, Bruno, 2016. "When should a winner take all, or pay some? Innovation and imitation incentives in a dynamic duopoly," MPRA Paper 75465, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. M. Moretto & G. Rossini, 2015. "Vertical flexibility, outsourcing and the financial choices of the firm," Working Papers wp1009, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    7. Dimitrios Zormpas, 2017. "How vertical relationships and external funding affect investment efficiency and timing?," 2017 Papers pzo81, Job Market Papers.
    8. Hellmann, Tobias & Thijssen, Jacco J.J., 2016. "Fear of the market or fear of the competitor? Ambiguity in a real options game," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 533, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Irreversible investment; Preemption; Real options; Vertical relations;

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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