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24. Pricing in Bertrand competition with increasing marginal costs

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  • Abbink, Klaus
  • Brandts, Jordi

Abstract

Bertrand competition under decreasing returns involves a wide interval of pure strategy Nash equilibrium prices. We first present results of experiments in which two, three and four identical firms repeatedly interact in this environment. More firms lead to lower average prices. However, prices remain substantially above the Walrasian level. With more than two firms the predominant market price is 24, a price not predicted by conventional equilibrium theories. This phenomenon can be captured by a simple imitation model and by a focal point explanation. For the long run, the model predicts that prices converge to the Walrasian outcome. We then use data from three new treatments to properly test the influence of imitation and focality. We find that both forces are present, but that imitation dominates in large markets with a long interaction.

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  • Abbink, Klaus & Brandts, Jordi, 2008. "24. Pricing in Bertrand competition with increasing marginal costs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 1-31, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:63:y:2008:i:1:p:1-31
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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