Information Acquisition and Market Power in Credit Markets
Investment in information acquisition can be used strategically by banks as a commitment device to augment market power. A static two-period economy with informationally heterogeneous banks is analysed. Information acquisition limits asymmetries of information and competitors’ rents ex post. If projects yield insufficient returns in the first period, competitors’ ex ante break even constraints are tightened, and competition inhibited. Market power can thereby be substantially augmented, and monopoly rents obtained. Welfare is lower with information acquisition, while banks are better off. With more than two banks, information acquisition is characterised by strategic complementarities: hence, multiple equilibria may exist.
information acquisition, market power, credit markets