Endogenous sunk-cost investments are optional fixed investment or capita, that a firm can choose to impact either upon its price-cost margin or its market share for capturing larger market spoils. Oft-cited examples are investments in vertical product (quality) differentiation, advertising outlays, and R&D type expenses for improving production processes. The importance of sunk-cost capital has been highlighted in the recent literature since these investments significantly influence the degree of competition in an industry mainly through forestalling entry and thereby limiting future competition in the industry. Sunk-cost investments play an important role in the debate on the competition-(in)stability perspectives for the banking industry. This paper is motivated by an important distinction, hitherto unrecognized, that some endogenous sunk-cost investments impact on the relative efficiencies of firms and thereby on its market spoils or profits, while others will only impact on its market share and thereby on profits. An example of this distinction is as follows: while quality improvement in a product or production processes will create efficiencies and, therefore, additional profits, while advertising expenses are used to snatch market shares from rivals. The unintended consequence of the first type of endogenous-sunk cost investment is to boost efficiencies and thereby shape the nature of competition in a market. The second type will have little effect on efficiencies. In this paper, by exploiting the above distinction and using a dataset created from the annual reports of nine major Islamic banks in Jordon during 1993–2010, we will apply the efficiency models and the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) methodology to test if information technology (IT) capital is strategically used by Islamic banks as an endogenous sunk-cost investment to boost their relative efficiencies. For the first time—to the best of our knowledge—we find that IT capital is strategically used by seven out of the nine Islamic banks. We then consider the implication of the strategic use of IT capital by Islamic banks for the nature of competition in the Islamic bank industry of Jordon. By so doing, we also argue that IT capital, through its effects on the nature of competition, will lend stability to the Islamic banking industry of Jordan.
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