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We examine free riding and underinvestment in noncooperative entry deterrence in the Gilbert and Vives (1986) model with differentiated products. Our analysis proves that for products that are differentiated enough, when both entry allowing and entry deterring equilibria coexist, the symmetric entry deterring equilibrium may Pareto dominate the entry equilibrium. Hence, "coordination failure" underinvestment in entry prevention can occur. However, as claimed, the overinvestment result of Gilbert and Vives remains robust to moderate amounts of product differentiation. We also show that coordination failure underinvestment arises in a wide variety of entry deterrence models and does not rely on assumptions regarding strategic substitutability or complementarity of precommitments.


This article was originally published in Southern Economic Journal, in 2005.

Peer Reviewed



Southern Economic Association



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