IO Seminar (Kadyrzhanova)

Original article (link) posted: 28/09/2005

Kadyrzhanova "The Leader-Bias Hypothesis: Monopolization and Industry Structure under Imperfect Corporate Control" Job Market Paper

The paper examines the effect of the imperfect corporate control in a dynamic oligopoly market with cost reducing R&D investments. The managers are assumed to have an over-producing incentive ("empire-building" hypothesis), and hence, they do not maximize firms' short-run profit without intervention of the shareholders. Corporate control serves to shift managers' preference from "empire-building" to "profit maximization".
The key observation is that shareholders may want to choose imperfect control because of the commitment benefit of the over-producing derived by "empire-building" preference of the manager. Indeed, she shows that even if there is no cost of corporate control, shareholders do not choose full control. Moreover, it is shown that shareholders are more willing to leave discretionary authority to managers when ahead of rivals, which results in lower turnover, higher concentration, persistently monopolized markets, and significantly lower consumer surplus.

I found the paper quite interesting. However, there were so many things she put in her presentation and the relationship among those are not clear enough for me. I am afraid that audiences also got little because her focus of the talk is vague. I think her presentation could have become much better if she had tried the followings:
1) Stress and make clear the contribution to the literature
2) Put more intuitive explanation of the main results
3) Be more confident on mathematical parts
4) Mention some actual story in markets or empirical facts as a motivation
5) Explain which element of the model is a key to derive the corresponding result

Interesting Papers in Reference

Athey and Schmutzler (2001) "Investment and Market Dominance" RAND 32 (1): 1-26
Bagwell, Ramey and Spulber (1997) "Dynamic Retail Price and Investment
Competition" Rand, 28(2), 207-227
Bolton, Brodley, and Riordan (2000) "Predatory Pricing: Strategic Theory and Legal Policy" Georgetown Law Journal, 88, pp. 2239-2330
Bolton and Scharfstein (1990) "A Theory of Predation Based on Agency Problems in Financial Contracting" American Economic Review 80(1): 93-106
Cabral and Riordan (1994) "The Learning Curve, Market Dominance and Predatory Pricing" Econometrica, 62, pp. 1115-1140
Fershtman and Judd (1987) "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly" American Economic Review, 77(5), 927-940

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