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Timing Vertical Relationships

  • Ruble, Richard
  • Versaevel, Bruno
  • de Villemeur, Étienne

We show that the standard analysis of vertical relationships transposes directly to investment timing. Thus, when a firm undertaking a project requires an outside supplier (e.g. an equipment manufacturer) to provide it with a discrete input, 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 index, which is related to the parameters of a stochastic downstream demand. When feasible, vertical restraints restore efficiency. For instance, the upstream firm can induce entry at the correct investment threshold by selling a call option on the input. Otherwise, competition may substitute for vertical restraints. In particular, if two firms are engaged in a preemption race downstream, the upstream firm sells the input to the first investor at a discount that is chosen in such a way that the race to preempt exactly offsets the vertical externality, and this leader invests at the optimal market threshold.

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File URL: http://www.tse-fr.eu/sites/default/files/medias/doc/wp/ng/10-181.pdf
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Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 10-181.

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Date of creation: 23 Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:22908
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  1. Thijssen, Jacco J.J. & Huisman, Kuno J.M. & Kort, Peter M., 2012. "Symmetric equilibrium strategies in game theoretic real option models," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 219-225.
  2. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, June.
  3. Grenadier, Steven R, 1996. " The Strategic Exercise of Options: Development Cascades and Overbuilding in Real Estate Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(5), pages 1653-79, December.
  4. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 5474.
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