Identifying Rivals Among Clustered and Isolated Firms: An Empirical Investigation and a Computational Model

24 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2016 Last revised: 1 Jul 2020

See all articles by Cristina Boari

Cristina Boari

University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Guido Fioretti

University of Bologna

Vincenza Odorici

Department of Management - University of Bologna

Date Written: June 30, 2020

Abstract

We carried out an empirical investigation among producers of packaging machines collecting information about their rivals, i.e., those few competitors which they closely monitor. We found interesting regularities that take geographically clustered firms apart from isolated firms, but we could not explain our empirical findings by means of existing theories. By constructing an agent-based model we were able to formulate a simple and plausible mechanism for rival selection which, once combined with well-known aspects of knowledge representation among clustered and isolated firms, is able to generate the empirically observed facts. We submit that this case is exemplary in showing what agent-based models can do, namely, providing sufficiency proofs that help theory-building.

Keywords: Inter-Firm Rivalry, Industrial Clusters, Packaging Machines, Agent-Based Models, Theory Building, Sufficiency Proofs

JEL Classification: B49, B59, C69, D22, L29, L64, R19

Suggested Citation

Boari, Cristina and Fioretti, Guido and Odorici, Vincenza, Identifying Rivals Among Clustered and Isolated Firms: An Empirical Investigation and a Computational Model (June 30, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2883573 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2883573

Cristina Boari

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Strada Maggiore 45
Bologna, 40125
Italy

Guido Fioretti (Contact Author)

University of Bologna ( email )

Via Capo di Lucca 34
Bologna, 40126
Italy

Vincenza Odorici

Department of Management - University of Bologna ( email )

via Capo di Lucca, 34
Bologna, Bologna 40126
Italy

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