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Welfare losses under Cournot competition

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  • Corchón, Luis C.

Abstract

We find that in a market for a homogeneous good where firms are identical, compete in quantities and produce with constant returns, the percentage of wel-fare losses (PWL) is small with as few as five competitors for a class of demand functions which includes linear and isoelastic cases. However with fixed costs and asymmetric firms PWL can be large. We provide exact formulae of PWL and robust constructions of markets were PWL is close to one in these two cases. We show that the market structure that maximizes PWL is either monopoly or dominant firm, depending on demand. Finally we prove that PWL is minimized when all firms are identical, a clear indication that the assumption of identical firms biases the estimation of PWL downwards.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 26 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 1120-1131

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:26:y:2008:i:5:p:1120-1131

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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  1. Novshek, William, 1980. "Cournot Equilibrium with Free Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 473-86, April.
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  7. McHardy, J.P., 2000. "Miscalculations of Monopoly and Oligopoly Welfare Losses with Linear Demand," Papers 274, Universite de Nantes - Economie Internationale et de l'Entreprise.
  8. Javier M. López-Cuñat, 1999. "One-stage and two-stage entry Cournot equilibria," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 23(1), pages 115-128, January.
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  10. C.C. von Weizsaker, 1980. "A Welfare Analysis of Barriers to Entry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 399-420, Autumn.
  11. Simon P. Anderson & Régis Renault, 2001. "Efficiency and surplus bounds in Cournot competition," Virginia Economics Online Papers 360, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  12. Yarrow, G K, 1985. "Welfare Losses in Oligopoly and Monopolistic Competition," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(4), pages 515-29, June.
  13. Daughety, Andrew F, 1990. "Beneficial Concentration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1231-37, December.
  14. Dasgupta, Partha & Ushio, Yoshiaki, 1981. "On the rate of convergence of oligopoly equilibria in large markets : An example," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 13-17.
  15. Guesnerie, Roger & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "Welfare Losses Due to Imperfect Competition: Asymptotic Results for Cournot Nash Equilibria with and without Free Entry," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(3), pages 525-45, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Robert A. Ritz, 2008. "Cost pass-through under delegation," Economics Series Working Papers 404, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Meunier, Guy, 2010. "Capacity choice, technology mix and market power," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1306-1315, November.
  3. Argenziano, Rossella & Schmidt-Dengler, Philipp, 2013. "Competition, timing of entry and welfare in a preemption game," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(3), pages 509-512.
  4. Andrew F. Newman & Patrick Legros, 2011. "Incomplete Contracts and Industrial Organization: A Survey," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-036, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  5. Argenziano, Rossella & Schmidt-Dengler, Philipp, 2012. "Inefficient entry order in preemption games," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 445-460.
  6. Corchón, Luis C. & Zudenkova, Galina, 2009. "Computing welfare losses from data under imperfect competition with heterogeneous goods," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 646-654, November.
  7. Simai He & Xiaoguo Wang & Shuzhong Zhang, 2013. "On a generalized Cournot oligopolistic competition game," Journal of Global Optimization, Springer, vol. 56(4), pages 1335-1345, August.

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