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Unequal Treatment of Identical Agents in Cournot Equilibrium

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Listed:
  • Greg Shaffer
  • Stephen W. Salant

Abstract

Oligopoly models where prior actions by firms affect subsequent marginal costs have been useful in illuminating policy debates in areas such as antitrust regulation, environmental protection, and international competition. The authors discuss properties of such models when a Cournot equilibrium occurs at the second stage. Aggregate production costs strictly decline with no change in gross revenue or gross consumer surplus if the prior actions strictly increase the variance of marginal costs without changing the marginal-cost sum. Therefore, unless the cost of inducing second-stage asymmetry more than offsets this reduction in production costs, the private and social optima are asymmetric.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:89:y:1999:i:3:p:585-604 Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.89.3.585
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection

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