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Bertrand Competition under Uncertainty

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  • Janssen, Maarten
  • Rasmusen, Eric

Abstract

We look at a Bertrand model in which each firm may be inactive with a known probability, so the number of active firms is uncertain. The model has a mixed-strategy equilibrium, in which industry profits are positive and decline with the number of firms, the same features which make the Cournot model attractive. Unlike those in a Cournot model with similar uncertainty, Bertrand profits always increase in the probability that firms are inactive. Profits decline more sharply than in the Cournot model, the pattern found empirically in Bresnahan and Reiss (1991). Copyright 2002 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Industrial Economics.

Volume (Year): 50 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 11-21

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jindec:v:50:y:2002:i:1:p:11-21

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References

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  1. Salop, Steven & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Bargains and Ripoffs: A Model of Monopolistically Competitive Price Dispersion," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 493-510, October.
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  5. Gaudet, Gerard & Salant, Stephen W, 1991. "Uniqueness of Cournot Equilibrium: New Results from Old Methods," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 399-404, April.
  6. Warner, Elizabeth J & Barsky, Robert B, 1995. "The Timing and Magnitude of Retail Store Markdowns: Evidence from Weekends and Holidays," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 321-52, May.
  7. Chantale LaCasse, 1995. "Bid Rigging and the Threat of Government Prosecution," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(3), pages 398-417, Autumn.
  8. Salant, Stephen W & Switzer, Sheldon & Reynolds, Robert J, 1983. "Losses from Horizontal Merger: The Effects of an Exogenous Change in Industry Structure on Cournot-Nash Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 185-99, May.
  9. Kevin Lang & Robert W. Rosenthal, 1991. "The Contractors' Game," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 329-338, Autumn.
  10. Bresnahan, T.F & Reiss, P.C., 1989. "Entry And Competition In Concentrated Markets," Papers 151, Stanford - Studies in Industry Economics.
  11. Elmar Wolfstetter & Walter Elberfeld, 1997. "A Dynamic Model of Bertrand Competition with Entry," Microeconomics 9701003, EconWPA.
  12. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions with a stochastic number of bidders," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, October.
  13. Dasgupta, Partha & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, II: Applications," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 27-41, January.
  14. Spulber, Daniel F, 1995. "Bertrand Competition When Rivals' Costs Are Unknown," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 1-11, March.
  15. David M. Kreps & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1983. "Quantity Precommitment and Bertrand Competition Yield Cournot Outcomes," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 326-337, Autumn.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan, 2005. "Probabilistic Patents," Microeconomics 0504004, EconWPA.
  2. Eric Rasmusen, 2004. "Strategic Implications of Uncertainty Over One’s Own Private Value in Auctions," Working Papers 2004-13, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  3. Vicki Knoblauch, 2002. "A Comparison of Two-Market Bertrand Duopoly and Two-Market Cournot Duopoly," Working papers 2002-14, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  4. Maarten C.W. Janssen & Santanu Roy, 2007. "Signaling Quality Through Prices in an Oligopoly," Departmental Working Papers 0709, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2008.
  5. Charles Thomas, 2011. "The Price Effects of Using Firewalls as an Antitrust Remedy," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 209-222, March.
  6. Alfredo Martín-Oliver & Vicente Salas-Fumás & Jesús Saurina, 2005. "Interest rate dispersion in deposit and loan markets," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0506, Banco de Espa�a.
  7. Thomas, Charles J., 2002. "The effect of asymmetric entry costs on Bertrand competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 589-609, May.
  8. Mohamed Jellal & François-Charles Wolff, 2005. "Free Entry under Uncertainty," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 85(1), pages 39-63, 07.
  9. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan, 2005. "Brand and Price Advertising in Online Markets," Working Papers 2005-08, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  10. Thomas, Charles J., 2004. "The competitive effects of mergers between asymmetric firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 679-692, May.
  11. Ritzberger, Klaus, 2009. "Price competition with population uncertainty," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 145-157, September.
  12. Maarten C.W. Janssen & Santanu Roy, 2007. "Signaling Quality through Prices in an Oligopoly," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-081/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  13. Johannes Münster, 2006. "Contests with an unknown number of contestants," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 353-368, December.

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