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Market Structure, Scale Economies and Industry Performance

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  • Rabah Amir

    (University of Copenhagen, Institute of Economics)

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 00-08.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: May 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:0008

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Related research

Keywords: Cournot oligopoly; Returns to scale; Entry; Equilibrium comparative statics;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Farrell, J. & Shapiro, C., 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Papers 17, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  4. Andrew Caplin & Barry Nalebuff, 1990. "Aggregation and Imperfect Competition: On the Existence of Equilibrium," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 937, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Rabah Amir & Val E. Lambson, 1998. "On the Effects of Entry in Cournot Markets," CIE Discussion Papers 1998-06, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
  6. Claude D’Aspremont & Rodolphe Dos Santos Ferreira & Louis-Andre Gerard-Varet, 2000. "Contestability and the Indeterminacy of Free-Entry Equilibria," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 51(1), pages 72-83, 03.
  7. Fauli-Oller, Ramon, 1997. "On merger profitability in a Cournot setting," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 75-79, January.
  8. 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).
  9. Diewert, Walter E & Wales, Terence J, 1987. "Flexible Functional Forms and Global Curvature Conditions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 43-68, January.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Okuguchi, Koji, 1973. "Quasi-Competitiveness and Cournot Oligopoly," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 145-48, January.
  13. Brock, William A, 1983. "Contestable Markets and the Theory of Industry Structure: A Review Article," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(6), pages 1055-66, December.
  14. Novshek, William., 1984. "On the Existence of Cournot Equilibrium," Working Papers 517, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  15. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "Rationalizability, Learning, and Equilibrium in Games with Strategic Complementarities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1255-77, November.
  16. ROBERTS, John, . "On the existence of Cournot equilibrium without concave profit functions," CORE Discussion Papers RP -260, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  17. Suzumura, Kotaro & Kiyono, Kazuharu, 1987. "Entry Barriers and Economic Welfare," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 157-67, January.
  18. Athey, Susan, 2002. "Monotone Comparative Statics Under Uncertainty," Scholarly Articles 3372263, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  19. 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.
  20. Perry, Martin K, 1984. "Scale Economies, Imperfect Competition, and Public Policy," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 313-33, March.
  21. 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.
  22. Novshek, William, 1980. "Cournot Equilibrium with Free Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 473-86, April.
  23. Seade, Jesus K, 1980. "On the Effects of Entry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 479-89, March.
  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. 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.
  26. Susan Athey, 2002. "Monotone Comparative Statics Under Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 187-223, February.
  27. Ramey, Valerie A, 1989. "Inventories as Factors of Production and Economic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 338-54, June.
  28. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1994. "Comparing Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 441-59, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Doan, Tinh, 2011. "Evolution of competition in Vietnam industries over the recent economic transition," MPRA Paper 34254, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Jan Boone & Henry van der Wiel & J. van Ours, 2007. "How (not) to measure competition," CPB Discussion Paper 91, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Rabah Amir & Natalia Lazzati, 2009. "Network Effects, Market Structure and Industry Performance," Working Papers 09-27, NET Institute.
  6. BELLEFLAMME, Paul & TOULEMONDE, Eric, 2007. "Negative intra-group externalities in two-sided markets," CORE Discussion Papers 2007039, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. 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.
  8. Koski, Heli & Pajarinen, Mika, 2013. "Empirical Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Competition Policy," ETLA Working Papers 15, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  9. 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.

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