nep-cse New Economics Papers
on Economics of Strategic Management
Issue of 2006‒08‒26
four papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
Bristol Business School

  1. Resource Allocation and Firm Scope By Guido Friebel; Michael Raith
  2. Valuing Limited Information in Decision Making Under Uncertainty By Allan W. Gray; Joshua D. Detre; Brian C. Briggeman
  3. Strategy Meets Evolution: Games Suppliers and Producers Play By Brishti Guha
  4. Competition Policy in Indonesia By John Malcolm Dowling

  1. By: Guido Friebel (University of Toulouse (EHESS and IDEI), CEPR and IZA Bonn); Michael Raith (University of Rochester and University of Southern California)
    Abstract: We develop a theory of firm scope in which integrating two firms into one facilitates the allocation of resources, but leads to weaker incentives for effort, compared with nonintegration. Our theory makes minimal assumptions about the underlying agency problem. Moreover, the benefits and costs of integration originate from the same problem – to allocate resources efficiently, the integrated firm's top management must obtain information about the possible use of resources from division managers. The division managers' job is to create profitable investment projects. Giving the managers incentives to do so biases them endogenously towards their own divisions, and gives them a motive to overstate the quality of their projects in order to receive more resources. We show that paying managers based on firm performance in addition to individual performance can establish truthful upward communication, but creates a free-rider problem and raises the cost of inducing effort. This effect exists even though with perfect information, centralized resource allocation would improve the managers' incentives. The resulting tradeoff between a better use of resources and diminished incentives for effort determines whether integration or non-integration is optimal. Our theory thus provides a simple answer to Williamson's “selective-intervention” puzzle concerning the limits of firm size and scope. In addition, we provide an incentivebased argument for the prevalence of hierarchically structured firms in which higher-level managers coordinate the actions of lower-level managers.
    Keywords: theory of the firm, coordination, authority, incentives, strategic information transmission
    JEL: D23 D82 L22 M52
    Date: 2006–08
  2. By: Allan W. Gray; Joshua D. Detre; Brian C. Briggeman (Department of Agricultural Economics, College of Agriculture, Purdue University)
    Abstract: Fresh Juice Inc. (FJI) is in the process of determining whether they should launch a new fruit juice in a market that has been relatively stagnant for the last 15 years. Management of FJI is faced with uncertainty surrounding market share, market size, price, and competitor entry. In addition, FJI has the ability to chose between alternative production processes; this choice directly affects the likelihood the investment will return a positive Net Present Value. This case teaches students how to develop a stochastic simulation models given limited information to analyze risk investment decisions.
    Keywords: : simulation, uncertainty, strategic management, flexibility, limited information, investment analysis
    JEL: C15 D24 D81 D83 D84
    Date: 2005–04
  3. By: Brishti Guha (School of Economics and Social Sciences, Singapore Management University)
    Abstract: Final goods producers, who may be intrinsically honest (a behavioral type) or opportunistic (strategic), play a repeated game of imperfect information with suppliers of an input of variable (and non-verifiable) quality. Returns to cheating are increasing in the proportion of intrinsically honest producers. If producers compete for another scarce input, adverse selection reduces this proportion enough to enforce universal honesty, whether at a high or a low quality equilibrium. This mechanism limits the proportion of behavioral types in the population of producers over a wide range of parameters: despite their inability to compete with opportunists, they are not wholly wiped out due to the strategic response of input suppliers. Moreover, in equilibrium, opportunists must replicate the behavioral type’s behavior. Thus competition curtails the presence of the behavioral type but increases the incidence if its behavior. If a labor market, where skilled and unskilled labor coexist, is also endogenized, an honest equilibrium with both high and low quality will generally be reached; however an exclusively high quality equilibrium with unemployment of unskilled labor is also possible.
    Keywords: Moral hazard, evolution, strategic response, repeated games, skill.
    JEL: C7 D8 J4
    Date: 2006–02
  4. By: John Malcolm Dowling (School of Economics and Social Sciences, Singapore Management University)
    Abstract: The Indonesian economy was dominated by the government in the decades of the 1970s and 1980s through its control of major mining, manufacturing and agricultural activities. Hill (2000) estimates that as much as 40% of non-agricultural GDP was accounted for by government entities in the late 1980s There were still a lot of government corporations up until the late 1980s and early 1990s and governmental control over the banking system was still substantial. Non-financial state owned enterprises (SOEs) contributed 14.5% of GDP in the late 1980s. They also accounted for another 9% of gross domestic investment which rose to 15.7% over the period 1990 –1997 (World Bank, 2000). Three SOEs are of particular note that dominate the sector in terms of revenue and assets are Pertamina (monopoly in oil and gas with diversified holdings in hotels, an airline and office buildings); PLN and PTTelkolm (monopoly in power and telecommunications industry respectively). The SOEs also employ a significant percentage of the labor force (25% according to data from the Indonesia’ Statistics Office). This strong role of the state was derived from the historical break with its colonial past under President Suharto and the distrust of “capitalists”. There was also a need for the Suharto regime in the three decades when he ruled to maintain control of enough industries to maintain its base for extortion and corruption. There was only a gradual and delayed shift toward export promotion and away from import substitution. This was partly the result of lobbying by entrenched interests that were making monopoly profits from new protected industries and corrupt officials that were operating the customs and port facilities. It also had to do with the control of key allocation and production agencies like Bulog and Pertamina. The decline in oil prices in the mid-1980s put pressure on the government to develop a more competitive economic environment which was reinforced by the growing integration of economies in Southeast Asia in conjunction with commitments to the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement. Policy measures focused on trade barriers. Tariffs were lowered and some import monopolies and import licenses were converted to tariff equivalents. There were also reforms in banking and the regulation of foreign direct investment. However, these reforms were partial in nature. Several banks remain under government control and policy required domestic partnerships for foreign direct investment (FDI) approval (see Dowling and Yap (2005) for further details. Nevertheless, despite these shortcomings in the policy environment, there was a measurable improvement in competition and economic efficiency, particularly in the manufacturing sector. Pangestu et al (2002) show that there was a decline in the level of industrial concentration and that the size distribution of firms has become more equal over time. There was also a decline in the prevalence of dominant firms therefore enhancing competition and reducing monopoly power. Finally, there was less stability in market shares after 1990, a development which reflects greater competition1. The evidence of enhanced competition over the decades of the ‘80s and’90s is much less compelling in other sectors of the economy, including agriculture, services, infrastructure and some parts for manufacturing and mining sectors. There are a number of examples that can be cited to support this conclusion including the cement industry (where there were high tariffs on imports, restrictions on number of distributors and allocation of markets) as well as gas distribution, telecommunications and electricity (where an opaque regulatory framework prohibited a level playing field from developing as new entrants came into the market). Furthermore, in the telecoms sector the government remained the majority shareholder in PT. Telkom and Indosat.
    Date: 2005–09

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