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Downstream Investment in Oligopoly

  • Stefan Buehler


    (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)

  • Armin Schmutzler


    (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)

We examine cost-reducing investment in vertically-related oligopolies, where firms may be vertically integrated or separated. Analyzing a standard linear Cournot model, we show that: (i) Integrated firms invest more than separated competitors. (ii) Vertical integration increases own investment and decreases competitor investment. (iii) Firms may integrate strategically so as to preempt investments by competitors. Adopting a reduced-form approach, we identify demand/mark-up complementarities in the product market as the driving force for these results. We show that our results generalize naturally beyond the Cournot example, and we discuss policy implications.

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Paper provided by Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich in its series SOI - Working Papers with number 0310.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:soz:wpaper:0310
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  1. Riordan, M.H., 1996. "Anticompetitive Vertical Integration by a Dominant Firm," Papers 64, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  2. Colangelo, Giuseppe, 1995. "Vertical vs. Horizontal Integration: Pre-emptive Merging," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 323-37, September.
  3. Banerjee, Samiran & Lin, Ping, 2003. "Downstream R&D, raising rivals' costs, and input price contracts," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 79-96, January.
  4. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1988. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Working papers 495, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Bengt Holmstrom & John Roberts, 1998. "The Boundaries of the Firm Revisited," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 73-94, Fall.
  6. Bühler, Stefan & Schmutzler, Armin, 2003. "Who Integrates?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4066, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Laurent Linnemer, 2003. "Backward Integration by a Dominant Firm," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 231-259, 06.
  8. Salinger, Michael A, 1988. "Vertical Mergers and Market Foreclosure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(2), pages 345-56, May.
  9. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1984. "The Fat-Cat Effect, the Puppy-Dog Ploy, and the Lean and Hungry Look," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 361-66, May.
  10. Ordover, Janusz A & Saloner, Garth & Salop, Steven C, 1990. "Equilibrium Vertical Foreclosure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 127-42, March.
  11. Slade, Margaret E, 1998. "Strategic Motives for Vertical Separation: Evidence from Retail Gasoline Markets," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 84-113, April.
  12. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "Rationalizability, Learning, and Equilibrium in Games with Strategic Complementarities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1255-77, November.
  13. Slade, Margaret E, 1998. "Beer and the Tie: Did Divestiture of Brewer-Owned Public Houses Lead to Higher Beer Prices?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 565-602, May.
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