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Time-to-build investment and uncertainty in oligopoly

Author

Listed:
  • Gerda Dewit
  • Dermot Leahy

Abstract

This paper examines how time to build alters strategic investment behaviour under oligopoly. Facing demand uncertainty, firms decide whether to invest early or wait until uncertainty has been resolved. A game that captures time-to-build investment is contrasted with another one in which investment is quick in place. We show that a time lag between when and how much to invest reduces the incentive to delay. When investment requires time to complete, early investment occurs more to avoid becoming a follower than to become a strategic investment leader. The opposite is true with quick-in-place investment. A brief welfare analysis is provided.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerda Dewit & Dermot Leahy, 2002. "Time-to-build investment and uncertainty in oligopoly," Working Papers 200207, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200207
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/1304
    File Function: First version, 2002
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Elie Appelbaum & Chin Lim, 1985. "Contestable Markets under Uncertainty," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(1), pages 28-40, Spring.
    3. 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.
    4. Majd, Saman & Pindyck, Robert S., 1987. "Time to build, option value, and investment decisions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 7-27, March.
    5. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
    6. Bar-Ilan, Avner & Strange, William C, 1996. "Investment Lags," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 610-622, June.
    7. Maggi, G. & Grossman, G., 1997. "Free Trade vs Strategic Trade: A Peek into Pandora's Box," Papers 190, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
    8. Pindyck, Robert S, 1991. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Investment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 1110-1148, September.
    9. 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.
    10. Ghemawat, Pankaj, 1984. "Capacity Expansion in the Titanium Dioxide Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 145-163, December.
    11. Marcel Boyer & Michel Moreaux, 1997. "Capacity Commitment versus Flexibility," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(1), pages 347-376, June.
    12. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Time-to-build investment; Uncertainty; Strategic commitment; Flexibility; Oligopoly; Investments; Uncertainty; Oligopolies;

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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