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Market Structure, Scale Economies and Industry Performance

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  • Rabah Amir

    (University of Southern Denmark)

Abstract

We provide an extensive and general investigation of the effects on industry performance (profits and social welfare) of exogenously changing the number of firms in a Cournot framework. This amounts to an in-depth exploration of the well-known trade-off between competition and production efficiency. We establish that under scale economies, welfare is maximized by a finite number of firms. Our results shed light on several theoretical issues and policy debates in industrial organization, including the relationship between the Herfindahl index and social welfare, free versus socially optimal entry, concentration and profitability, destructive competition and natural monopoly. Our analytical approach combines simplicity with generality.

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File URL: http://www.econ.ku.dk/cie/dp/dp_2000-2002/2000-03.pdf/
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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 2000-03.

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Length: 30 pages
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Handle: RePEc:kud:kuieci:2000-03

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Keywords: Cournot oligopoly; returns to scale; entry; equilibrium comparative statics;

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References

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  1. N. Gregory Mankiw & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Free Entry and Social Inefficiency," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 48-58, Spring.
  2. W. Erwin Diewert & T.J. Wales, 1989. "Flexible Functional Forms and Global Curvature Conditions," NBER Technical Working Papers 0040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Perry, Martin K, 1984. "Scale Economies, Imperfect Competition, and Public Policy," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 313-33, March.
  4. d'ASPREMONT, Claude & DOS SANTOS FERREIRA, Rodolphe & GERARD-VARET, Louis-André, . "Contestability and the indeterminacy of free-entry equilibria," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1452, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  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. Ramey, Valerie A. & West, Kenneth D., 1999. "Inventories," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 863-923 Elsevier.
  7. Joseph Farrell and Carl Shapiro., 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Economics Working Papers 8880, University of California at Berkeley.
  8. Rabah Amir, 2000. "On the Effects of Entry in Cournot Markets," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1475, Econometric Society.
  9. Ruffin, R J, 1971. "Cournot Oligopoly and Competitive Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(116), pages 493-502, October.
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  16. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1994. "Comparing Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 441-59, June.
  17. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "Rationalizability, Learning, and Equilibrium in Games with Strategic Complementarities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1255-77, November.
  18. de Meza, David, 1985. "A Stable Cournot-Nash Industry Need Not Be Quasi-competitive," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(2), pages 153-56, May.
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  21. Suzumura, Kotaro & Kiyono, Kazuharu, 1987. "Entry Barriers and Economic Welfare," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 157-67, January.
  22. Greg Shaffer & Stephen W. Salant, 1999. "Unequal Treatment of Identical Agents in Cournot Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 585-604, June.
  23. Spence, Michael, 1983. "Contestable Markets and the Theory of Industry Structure: A Review Article," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 981-90, September.
  24. Demsetz, Harold, 1973. "Industry Structure, Market Rivalry, and Public Policy," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-9, April.
  25. Susan Athey, 2002. "Monotone Comparative Statics Under Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 187-223, February.
  26. Seade, Jesus K, 1980. "On the Effects of Entry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 479-89, March.
  27. Joseph Farrell & Carl Shapiro, 1990. "Asset Ownership and Market Structure in Oligopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(2), pages 275-292, Summer.
  28. AMIR, Rabah, 1994. "Cournot Oligopoly and the Theory of Supermodular Games," CORE Discussion Papers 1994013, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  29. Lambson, Val Eugene, 1987. "Is the Concentration-Profit Correlation Partly an Artifact of Lumpy Technology?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 731-33, September.
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  31. Athey, Susan, 2002. "Monotone Comparative Statics Under Uncertainty," Scholarly Articles 3372263, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Koski, Heli & Pajarinen, Mika, 2013. "Empirical Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Competition Policy," ETLA Working Papers 15, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  2. Doan, Tinh, 2011. "Evolution of competition in Vietnam industries over the recent economic transition," MPRA Paper 34254, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Paul Belleflamme & Eric Toulemonde, 2007. "Negative Intra-Group Externalities in Two-Sided Markets," CESifo Working Paper Series 2011, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Boone, J. & Ours, J.C. van & Wiel, H.P. van der, 2007. "How (Not) to Measure Competition," Discussion Paper 2007-014, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
  5. Amir, Rabah & Lazzati, Natalia, 2011. "Network effects, market structure and industry performance," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(6), pages 2389-2419.
  6. Sara Amoroso & Peter M. Kort & Bertrand Melenberg & Joseph Plasmans & Mark Vancauteren, 2010. "Firm Level Productivity under Imperfect Competition in Output and Labor Markets," CESifo Working Paper Series 3082, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Alexander Schiersch & Jens Schmidt-Ehmcke, 2011. "Is the Boone-Indicator Applicable? – Evidence from a Combined Data Set of German Manufacturing Enterprises," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 231(3), pages 336-357, June.
  8. Michiel van Leuvensteijn, 2008. "The Boone-indicator: Identifying different regimes of competition for the American Sugar Refining Company 1890-1914," Working Papers 08-37, Utrecht School of Economics.
  9. Lewis Evans and Patrick Hughes, 2003. "Competition Policy in Small Distant Open Economies: Some Lessons from the Economics Literature," Treasury Working Paper Series 03/31, New Zealand Treasury.

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