CefES Working Papers

Liquidation value of productive assets and product differentiation

by Simone Boccaletti (University of Milano-Bicocca) and Vittoria Cerasi (University of Milano-Bicocca)


This study examines the choice of individual companies to adapt productive assets (PAs) to specific production. To soften competition, companies may modify their assets to increase product differentiation. However, this decision alters the liquidation value of the assets in the case of bankruptcy for the presence of redeployment costs (larger for specialized assets) faced by potential buyers. We determine the equilibrium level of specialization of PAs, pointing to a novel trade-off between product market differentiation and the resale value of PAs.We find that industry entry and redeployment costs, together with the number of potential bidders in the second-hand market of PAs are important factors in explaining the degree of product differentiation.