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Welfare losses under cournot competition

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  • Luis C. Corchon

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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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we063910.

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Date of creation: Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we063910

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  1. Anderson, Simon P. & Renault, Regis, 2003. "Efficiency and surplus bounds in Cournot competition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 253-264, December.
  2. Farrell, J. & Shapiro, C., 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Papers 17, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
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  5. Javier M. López-Cuñat, 1999. "One-stage and two-stage entry Cournot equilibria," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 23(1), pages 115-128, January.
  6. Lahiri, Sajal & Ono, Yoshiyasu, 1988. "Helping Minor Firms Reduces Welfare," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 1199-1202, December.
  7. Fraysse, J. & Moreaux, M., 1981. "Cournot equilibrium in large markets under increasing returns," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 217-220.
  8. Novshek, William, 1980. "Cournot Equilibrium with Free Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 473-86, April.
  9. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Reiss, Peter C, 1991. "Entry and Competition in Concentrated Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 977-1009, October.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  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. Suzumura, Kotaro & Kiyono, Kazuharu, 1987. "Entry Barriers and Economic Welfare," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 157-67, January.
  14. 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.
  15. Daughety, Andrew F, 1990. "Beneficial Concentration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1231-37, December.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Robert A. Ritz, 2008. "Cost pass-through under delegation," Economics Series Working Papers 404, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Meunier, Guy, 2010. "Capacity choice, technology mix and market power," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1306-1315, November.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Argenziano, Rossella & Schmidt-Dengler, Philipp, 2012. "Inefficient entry order in preemption games," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 445-460.
  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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