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Self-Reinforcing Market Dominance


Halbheer, Daniel; Fehr, Ernst; Götte, Lorenz; Schmutzler, Armin (2007). Self-Reinforcing Market Dominance. Working paper series / Socioeconomic Institute No. 711, University of Zurich.

Abstract

Are initial competitive advantages self-reinforcing, so that markets exhibit an endogenous tendency to be dominated by only a few firms? Although this question is of great economic importance, no systematic empirical study has yet addressed it. Therefore, we examine experimentally whether firms with an initial cost advantage are more likely to invest in cost reductions than firms with higher initial costs. Wefind that the initial competitive advantages are indeed self-reinforcing, but subjects in the role of firms overinvest relative to the Nash equilibrium. However, the pattern of overinvestment even srengthens the tendency towards self-reinforcing cost advantages relative to the theoretical prediction. Further, as predicted by the Nash equilibrium, aggregate investment is not affected by the initial efficiency distribution. Finally, investment spillovers reduce investment, and investment is higher than the joint-profit maximizing benchmark for the case without spillovers and lower for the case with spillovers.

Are initial competitive advantages self-reinforcing, so that markets exhibit an endogenous tendency to be dominated by only a few firms? Although this question is of great economic importance, no systematic empirical study has yet addressed it. Therefore, we examine experimentally whether firms with an initial cost advantage are more likely to invest in cost reductions than firms with higher initial costs. Wefind that the initial competitive advantages are indeed self-reinforcing, but subjects in the role of firms overinvest relative to the Nash equilibrium. However, the pattern of overinvestment even srengthens the tendency towards self-reinforcing cost advantages relative to the theoretical prediction. Further, as predicted by the Nash equilibrium, aggregate investment is not affected by the initial efficiency distribution. Finally, investment spillovers reduce investment, and investment is higher than the joint-profit maximizing benchmark for the case without spillovers and lower for the case with spillovers.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Socioeconomic Institute (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
JEL Classification:C90, D43, L13, O31
Language:English
Date:August 2007
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 22:47
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:12
Series Name:Working paper series / Socioeconomic Institute
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-52381

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