Paul W. Dobson and Michael Waterson
We develop a simple model in which there is both interfirm (or intraproduct) and intrafirm (or interproduct) competition. The purpose is to develop a classificatoy framework in order to understand product-range or diversification decisions alongside conventional competition. The equilibrium outcomes commonly involve a limited range of the available goods being produced. Deterrence equilibria and other strategic actions are also examined.
Juan Carlos Barcena-Ruiz and Maria Paz Espinosa
This paper deals with the strategic role of the temporal dimension of contracts in a duopoly market. Is it better for a firm to sign long-term incentive contracts with managers or short-term contracts? For the linear case, with strategic substitutes (complements) in the product market, the incentive variables are also strategic substitutes (complements).
Why is it so common for the seller to provide guarantees that say “Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back” along with the sale of a product? Newly introduced goods and mail-ordered products are usually sold with such guarantees. In honoring money-back guarantees, why is it a common business practice to pay back exactly the purchase price rather than a portion of it?
This paper develops a theory of capital structure based on the attempts of a firm to alleviate a holdup problem that arises in its bilateral relationship with a buyer. It is shown that by issuing debt to outsiders, the firm can improve its ex post bargaining position vis-a-vis the buyer and capture a larger share of the ex post gains from trade. Debt, however, is costly because the buyer may find the required price too high and refuse to trade. Since debt raises the payoff of claimholders, it strengthens the firm's incentive to make relationship-specific investments, and therefore alleviates the well-known underinvestment problem. A comparative static analysis yields a number of testable hypotheses regarding the firm's financial strategy.
Géarard Gaudet and Ngo Van Long
Whether vertical integration between a downstream oligopolist and an upstream oligopolist is profitable for an integrated pair of firms is shown to depend on whether one means by this that profits increase no matter what other firms do, that all integrated firms are better off when all firms are integrated than when none are, or simply that no downstream-upstream pair of firms has an incentive to deviate from a situation where all firms are integrated. It is also shown to depend on the number of firms in each oligopoly and on the type of interaction that is assumed between firms that are integrated and firms that are not.
This paper considers the incentives of a firm with power in a market for one good to tie in the sale of a complementary good even though the complementary good is produced in a zero profit market. If the zero-profit price of the tied good is greater than the marginal cost (which occurs for example when the technology is characterized by a fixed cost and a constant marginal cost), a firm will fie in order to increase the sales of the complementary good, which at the margin is profitable.