|Start Page Number:||89|
|End Page Number:||114|
|Publication Date:||Nov 1996|
|Journal:||European Journal of Operational Research|
We analyze the capacity expansion behavior of firms in a duopoly faced with an uncertain new market. The market demand may be high or low with a given probability mass function. Firms obtain private information about the market size and build their capacity before the market demand is known. Once the demand is revealed, firms enter a capacity constrained price competition phase which determines their revenues. Two scenarios are considered: first, when firms choose their capacities simultaneously in the investment phase, and second, when they do so sequentially. For each case, we determine the unique symmetric Nash equilibrium. Excess capacity can occur in equilibrium in the industry. It is seen that preempting the competitor in the capacity expansion phase offers first mover benefits. We argue that the sequential moves game is more prone to equilibrium excess capacity compared to the simultaneous case. We show that preemption is a good strategy if the investing environment is either highly optimistic or highly pessimistic. If the industry outlook is only moderately optimistic, a capacity planner is still better off preempting his competitor; however, the industry may encounter overcapacity as a consequence.