Competition and cost pass-through in differentiated oligopolies
AbstractThe impact that competition exerts on the incentives of firms to pass through reductions in their marginal costs is an important consideration in assessing the performance of alternate market structures. This paper examines the role of product differentiation on firm-specific and industry-wide pass-through rates. Relying on Shubik’s (1980) model of differentiated Cournot competition with linear demand, we show that there exists an initial critical range over which the firm-specific cost pass-through rate decreases in the number of firms. Beyond this range the rate continually increases – approaching 50 percent as the number of firms goes to infinity. This contrasts with a model of differentiated Bertrand competition in which cost pass through monotonically decreases in the number of firms. The disparate effects across the Cournot and Bertrand models are shown to stem from the influence of competition and product differentiation on the respective firm reaction functions. Suggestions for future empirical work based upon the models’ predictions and implications for antitrust policy are also discussed.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 25931.
Date of creation: 15 Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Competitive effects; Oligopoly; Merger; Pass-through; Product differentiation;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
- L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-10-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2010-10-23 (Business Economics)
- NEP-COM-2010-10-23 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-IND-2010-10-23 (Industrial Organization)
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