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On the stability of the Cournot equilibrium: An evolutionary approach

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  • Hommes, C.H.

    ()
    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Ochea, M.

    ()
    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Tuinstra, J.

    ()
    (University of Amsterdam)

Abstract

We construct an evolutionary version of Theocharis (1960)'s seminal work on the stability of equilibrium in multi-player quantity-setting oligopolies. Two sets of behavioral heuristics are investigated under fixed and endogenously evolving fractions: (myopic) Cournot firms vs. Nash firms and Cournot firms vs. rational firms. The analysis with evolutionary competition between these heuristics nests the famous Theocharis instability threshold, n=3, as a special case and shows that Theocharis' result is quite robust. For evolutionary competition between the Cournot and the rational heuristic, both the existence and the magnitude of this threshold depend on the information costs associated with the rational heuristic. When information costs are positive a bifurcation route to chaos occurs as the number of firms increases. The evolutionary model therefore exhibits perpetual but bounded fluctuations, a feature not present in Theocharis' original model.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance in its series CeNDEF Working Papers with number 11-10.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ams:ndfwpp:11-10

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Postal: Dept. of Economics and Econometrics, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Roetersstraat 11, NL - 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Phone: + 31 20 525 52 58
Fax: + 31 20 525 52 83
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Web page: http://www.fee.uva.nl/cendef/
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  1. Steffen Huck & Hans-Theo Normann & Jörg Oechssler, 2002. "Stability of the Cournot process - experimental evidence," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 123-136.
  2. Dana, Rose-Anne & Montrucchio, Luigi, 1986. "Dynamic complexity in duopoly games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 40-56, October.
  3. Droste, E. & Hommes, C.H. & Tuinstra, J., 1999. "Endogenous Fluctuations under Evolutionary Pressure in Cournot Competition," CeNDEF Working Papers 99-04, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
  4. Luis Corchón & Andreu Mas-Colell, 1995. "A Note On Stability Of Best Reply And Gradient Systems With Applications To Imperfectly Competitive Models," Working Papers. Serie AD 1995-18, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  5. Bischi, Gian Italo & Naimzada, Ahmad K. & Sbragia, Lucia, 2007. "Oligopoly games with Local Monopolistic Approximation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 371-388, March.
  6. Rassenti, Stephen & Reynolds, Stanley S. & Smith, Vernon L. & Szidarovszky, Ferenc, 2000. "Adaptation and convergence of behavior in repeated experimental Cournot games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 117-146, February.
  7. Szidarovsky, Ferenc & Rassenti, Stephen & Yen, Jerome, 1994. "The stability of the cournot solution under adaptive expectation: A further generalization," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 173-181.
  8. al-Nowaihi, A. & Levine, P. L., 1985. "The stability of the cournot oligopoly model: A reassessment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 307-321, August.
  9. Cox, James C. & Walker, Mark, 1998. "Learning to play Cournot duopoly strategies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 141-161, August.
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