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Entry deterrence/accommodation with imperfect strategic thinking capability

Yuxin Chen () and Ozge Turut ()
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Yuxin Chen: New York University Shanghai
Ozge Turut: Sabanci University

Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), 2018, vol. 16, issue 2, No 2, 175-207

Abstract: Abstract Both through empirical research and laboratory experiments it has been shown that managers are heterogeneous in strategic thinking-i.e., not all the managers can accurately conjecture their competitors’ behavior and actions. In this paper, we examine the entry deterrence/accommodation strategy of an incumbent firm facing a potential entrant that may behave less strategically than the incumbent in the way of conjecturing competitors’ actions and beliefs. We adapt the Cognitive Hierarchy model to capture this heterogeneity among the managers of the entrant firm and the incumbent firm. Surprisingly, we show that the incumbent can deter entry by investing in expanding the market size and the competition may increase the incumbent’s incentive to invest in market expansion. If entry does occur, the market expansion in our model also benefits entrant comparing to the case without market expansion. This feature of our result sets it apart from the standard result in the entry deterrence literature, which tends to suggest that incumbent has to either over-invest in actions harmful to entrant if entry occurs. In our model investing in expanding the market size makes the entrant to update its belief about the incumbent’s strategic thinking capability downward and thus, decreases the entrant’s expected profitability, which in turn deters entry. Our research has important implications especially for emerging markets given that the lack of management talent is a particularly severe problem among local firms in emerging markets and multinational companies pioneer in the emerging markets with great market expansion opportunities have to face the potential entry of local companies.

Keywords: Cognitive hierarchy; Strategic rationality; Competitive strategy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D41 D91 M21 M31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1007/s11129-017-9195-8

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