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Aggregation and Imperfect Competition: On the Existence of Equilibrium

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Author Info

  • Andrew Caplin

    (Columbia University)

  • Barry Nalebuff

    (Yale School of Management)

Abstract

We present a new approach to the theory of imperfect competition and apply it to study price competition among differentiated products. The central result provides general conditions under which there exists a pure strategy price equilibrium for any number of firms producing any set of products. This includes products with multi-dimensional attributes. In addition to the proof of existence, we provide conditions for uniqueness. Our analysis covers location models, the characteristic approach, and probabilistic choice together in a unified framework. To prove existence, we employ aggregation theorems due to Prekopa (1971) and Borell (1975). Our companion paper [CFDP 938] introduces these theorems and develops the application to super-majority voting rules.

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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d09a/d0937.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 937.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Feb 1990
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Econometrica (January 1991), 59(1): 25-59
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:937

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA
Phone: (203) 432-3702
Fax: (203) 432-6167
Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/
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Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

Related research

Keywords: Imperfect competition; Bertrand equilibrium; differentiated products; prices; price competition;

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References

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  1. de PALMA, A. & GINSBURGH, V. & PAPAGEOGIOU, Y.Y. & THISSE, J-F., . "The principle of minimum differentiation holds under sufficient heterogeneity," CORE Discussion Papers RP -640, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Archibald, G C & Rosenbluth, Gideon, 1975. "The "New" Theory of Consumer Demand and Monopolistic Competition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 89(4), pages 569-90, November.
  3. Spence, Michael, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 217-35, June.
  4. repec:fth:coluec:450 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Andrew Caplin & Barry Nalebuff, 1990. "Aggregation and Social Choice: A Mean Voter Theorem," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 938, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. W.J. Lane, 1980. "Product Differentiation in a Market with Endogenous Sequential Entry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(1), pages 237-260, Spring.
  7. Perloff, Jeffrey M & Salop, Steven, 1984. "Equilibrium with product differentiation," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt4cq0m6s3, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  8. Martin J Osborne & Carolyn Pitchik, 1985. "Equilibrium in Hotelling's Model of Spatial Competition," Department of Economics Working Papers 1985-02, McMaster University.
  9. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  10. Egbert Dierker, 1989. "Competition for Customers," Discussion Paper Serie A 244, University of Bonn, Germany.
  11. Levitan, Richard & Shubik, Martin, 1972. "Price Duopoly and Capacity Constraints," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 13(1), pages 111-22, February.
  12. Christensen, Laurits R & Jorgenson, Dale W & Lau, Lawrence J, 1975. "Transcendental Logarithmic Utility Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 367-83, June.
  13. repec:fth:michin:245 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Caplin, Andrew S & Nalebuff, Barry J, 1986. "Multi-dimensional Product Differentiation and Price Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(0), pages 129-45, Suppl. No.
  15. GABSZEWICZ, Jean J. & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Price competition, quality and income disparities," CORE Discussion Papers RP -370, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  16. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-30, March.
  17. John R. Hauser, 1988. "Note—Competitive Price and Positioning Strategies," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 7(1), pages 76-91.
  18. Robert C. Feenstra & James A. Levinsohn, 1989. "Distance, Demand, and Oligopoly Pricing," NBER Working Papers 3076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. B. Curtis Eaton, 1972. "Spatial Competition Revisited," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 5(2), pages 268-78, May.
  20. Schulz, Norbert & Stahl, Konrad, 1985. "On the non-existence of oligopolistic equilibria in differentiated products spaces," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 229-243, June.
  21. d'Aspremont, C & Gabszewicz, Jean Jaskold & Thisse, J-F, 1979. "On Hotelling's "Stability in Competition"," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1145-50, September.
  22. Economides, Nicholas, 1989. "Symmetric equilibrium existence and optimality in differentiated product markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 178-194, February.
  23. Caplin, Andrew S & Nalebuff, Barry J, 1988. "On 64%-Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 787-814, July.
  24. Edward C. Prescott & Michael Visscher, 1977. "Sequential Location among Firms with Foresight," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(2), pages 378-393, Autumn.
  25. Anderson, Simon P & de Palma, Andre, 1988. "Spatial Price Discrimination with Heterogeneous Products," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 573-92, October.
  26. Lederer, Phillip J & Hurter, Arthur P, Jr, 1986. "Competition of Firms: Discriminatory Pricing and Location," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 623-40, May.
  27. Simon P. Anderson & Andre de Palma & Jacques-Francois Thisse, 1987. "Demand for Differentiated Products," Discussion Papers 726, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  28. repec:fth:inseep:8801 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. Hauser, John R., 1987. "Existence and uniqueness of price equilibria in Defender," Working papers 1878-87., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  30. Greenberg, Joseph, 1979. "Consistent Majority Rules over Compact Sets of Alternatives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 627-36, May.
  31. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-28, June.
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