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An Evolutionary Model of Bertrand Oligopoly


  • Alos-Ferrer, Carlos
  • Ania, Ana B.
  • Schenk-Hoppe, Klaus Reiner


We analyze the long-run outcome of markets in which boundedly rational firms with a decreasingreturns to scale technology compete in prices. The behavior of these firms is based on limitation ofsuccess and experimentation. In this framework, we introduce a new approach to model boundedlyrational behavior, based on the idea of behavioral principles, i.e. formal descriptions. Even with thesimplest ones, the result is that the prices announced are a strict refinement of the set of Nashequilibria. With more sophisticated behavioral principles, the long-run outcome corresponds to theconcept of central prices (wich are also Nash equilibria) introduced here. This is a robust andclear-cut prediction wich, under quadratic costs and arbitrary demand, essentially coincides with theWalrasian equilibrium.
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  • Alos-Ferrer, Carlos & Ania, Ana B. & Schenk-Hoppe, Klaus Reiner, 2000. "An Evolutionary Model of Bertrand Oligopoly," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-19, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:33:y:2000:i:1:p:1-19

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 2000. "Does information about competitors' actions increase or decrease competition in experimental oligopoly markets?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 39-57, January.
    2. Dastidar, Krishnendu Ghosh, 1995. "On the Existence of Pure Strategy Bertrand Equilibrium," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 5(1), pages 19-32, January.
    3. Dastidar, Krishnendu Ghosh, 1997. "Comparing Cournot and Bertrand in a Homogeneous Product Market," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 205-212, July.
    4. Schlag, Karl H., 1998. "Why Imitate, and If So, How?, : A Boundedly Rational Approach to Multi-armed Bandits," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 130-156, January.
    5. Kandori, Michihiro & Mailath, George J & Rob, Rafael, 1993. "Learning, Mutation, and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 29-56, January.
    6. Shapiro, Carl, 1989. "Theories of oligopoly behavior," Handbook of Industrial Organization,in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 329-414 Elsevier.
    7. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
    8. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 1999. "Learning in Cournot Oligopoly--An Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages 80-95, March.
    9. Ana B. Ania & Carlos Alós Ferrer & Fernando Vega Redondo, 1997. "From Walrasian oligopolies to natural monopolyan: An evolutionary model of market structure," Working Papers. Serie AD 1997-24, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    10. Fernando Vega-Redondo, 1997. "The Evolution of Walrasian Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(2), pages 375-384, March.
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