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Market Structure, Scale Economies, and Industry Performance

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  • Rahab Amir

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. ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Marktstruktur, Größenvorteile und Marktergebnis) In dem Beitrag wird im Rahmen eines Cournot-Ansatzes eine allgemeine Untersuchung der Auswirkungen der exogen sich ändernden Anzahl von Unternehmen auf das Marktergebnis (Gewinne und soziale Wohlfahrt) vorgestellt. Dabei wird in einer analytischen Betrachtung das bekannte Trade-off zwischen Wettbewerb und Produktionseffizienz herausgearbeitet. Es wird gezeigt, daß beim Vorliegen von Größenvorteilen die Wohlfahrt durch eine endliche Zahl von Firmen maximiert wird. Das Ergebnis beleuchtet verschiedene Aspekte der wirtschaftstheoretischen und industriepolitischen Diskussion, einschließlich der Beziehungen zwischen den Herfindahl-Index und der sozialen Wohlfahrt, freiem versus sozial optimalem Markteintritt, Konzentration und Profitabilität, ruinösem Wettbewerb und natürlichem Monopol. Der analytische Ansatz vereint Einfachheit mit Allgemeinheit.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG) in its series CIG Working Papers with number FS IV 00-08.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2000
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Handle: RePEc:wzb:wzebiv:fsiv00-08

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

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References

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  1. Novshek, William., 1984. "On the Existence of Cournot Equilibrium," Working Papers 517, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. d’ASPREMONT, Claude & DOS SANTOS FERREIRA, Rodolphe & GERARD-VARET, Louis-André, 1997. "Contestability and the indeterminacy of free entry equilibria," CORE Discussion Papers 1997073, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  7. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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).
  2. Rabah Amir & Natalia Lazzati, 2010. "Network Effects, Market Structure and Industry Performance," CREA Discussion Paper Series 10-16, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Boone, Jan & van der Wiel, Henry & van Ours, Jan C, 2007. "How (not) to measure competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 6275, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Doan, Tinh, 2012. "Evolution of competition in Vietnam industries over the recent economic transition," Economics Discussion Papers 2012-12, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  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. Koski, Heli & Pajarinen, Mika, 2013. "Empirical Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Competition Policy," ETLA Working Papers 15, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.

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