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Bertrand versus Cournot revisited

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  • Cheng-Zhong Qin

    (Department of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA)

  • Charles Stuart

    (Department of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA)

Abstract

Bertrand criticized Cournot's analysis of the competitive process, arguing that firms should be seen as playing a strategy of setting price below competitors' prices (henceforth, the Bertrand strategy) instead of a strategy of accepting the price needed to sell an optimal quantity (the Cournot strategy). We characterize Nash equilibria in a generalized model in which firms choose among Cournot and Bertrand strategies. Best responses always exist in this model. For the duopoly case, we show that iterated best responses converge under mild assumptions on initial states either to Cournot equilibrium or to an equilibrium in which only one firm plays the Bertrand strategy with price equal to marginal cost and that firm has zero sales.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 10 (1997)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 497-507

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:10:y:1997:i:3:p:497-507

Note: Received: December 11, 1995; revised version October 2, 1996
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Cited by:
  1. Tanaka, Yasuhito, 2001. "Profitability of price and quantity strategies in an oligopoly," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 409-418, June.
  2. Tasnadi, Attila, 2006. "Price vs. quantity in oligopoly games," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 541-554, May.
  3. Wu, Xin-wang & Zhu, Quan-tao & Sun, Laixiang, 2012. "On equivalence between Cournot competition and the Kreps–Scheinkman game," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 116-125.
  4. Massimo A. De Francesco, 2001. "On stability of Bertrand-Nash equilibrium in a simple model of the labour market," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 3(19), pages 1-10.
  5. Quan-tao Zhu & Xin-wang Wu & Laixiang Sun, 2014. "A generalized framework for endogenous timing in duopoly games and an application to price-quantity competition," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 112(2), pages 137-164, June.
  6. Pascal Billand & Christophe Bravard, 2006. "Les modèles de comportements adaptatifs appliqués à l'oligopole de Cournot," Post-Print ujm-00121658, HAL.

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