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Efficient Competition with Small Numbers - with Applications to Privatisation and Mergers

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  • Kala Krishna

    (Pennsylvania State University)

  • Torben Tranæs

    (Institute of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

This paper studies competition between a small number of suppliers and a single buyer, (or an auction with a small number of bidders and a single seller) when total demand (supply) is uncertain. It is well known that when a small number of suppliers compete in supply functions the service is not provided efficiently. We show that production efficiency is obtained if suppliers compete in simple two-part bid functions. However, profits are not eliminated. Moreover, the buyers´ (sellers´) decision regarding how much to buy is not efficient. We also show that suppliers (bidders in an auction) always have an incentive to merge (form bidding rings) in this setting.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics in its series CIE Discussion Papers with number 1999-01.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Jan 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuieci:1999-01

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Keywords: supply function competition; multi unit auctions; efficiency; deregulation of electricity generation; privatisation; mergers;

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References

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  1. Salant, Stephen W & Switzer, Sheldon & Reynolds, Robert J, 1983. "Losses from Horizontal Merger: The Effects of an Exogenous Change in Industry Structure on Cournot-Nash Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 185-99, May.
  2. Kala Krishna & Torben Tranæs, 1998. "Allocating multiple units by sealed-bid auctions," CIE Discussion Papers 1998-05, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
  3. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0tp305nx, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  4. Robson, Arthur J., 1981. "Implicit oligopolistic collusion is destroyed by uncertainty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 75-80.
  5. Hart, Oliver & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1127-61, November.
  6. Baliga, S. & Corchon, L.C. & Sjostrom, T., 1995. "The Theory of Implemetation when the Planner is a PLayer," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9512, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  7. Green, Richard & Newbery, David M G, 1991. "Competition in the British Electricity Spot Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 557, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Haaparanta, Pertti, 1996. "Competition for foreign direct investments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 141-153, December.
  9. Turnbull, Stephen J., 1983. "Choosing duopoly solutions by consistent conjectures and by uncertainty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 253-258.
  10. Grant, Simon & Quiggin, John, 1997. "Strategic Trade Policy under Uncertainty: Sufficient Conditions for the Optimality of Ad Valorem, Specific and Quadratic Trade Taxes," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(1), pages 187-203, February.
  11. Catherine D. Wolfram, 1998. "Strategic Bidding in a Multiunit Auction: An Empirical Analysis of Bids to Supply Electricity in England and Wales," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(4), pages 703-725, Winter.
  12. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31, February.
  13. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
  14. Bresnahan, Timothy F, 1981. "Duopoly Models with Consistent Conjectures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 934-45, December.
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