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Comparing Cournot and Bertrand equilibria in a differentiated duopoly with product R&D

Listed author(s):
  • Symeonidis, George

This paper compares Bertrand and Cournot equilibria in a differentiated duopoly with substitute goods and product R&D. I find that R&D expenditure, prices and firms’ net profits are always higher under quantity competition than under price competition. Furthermore, output, consumer surplus and total welfare are higher in the Bertrand equilibrium than in the Cournot equilibrium if either R&D spillovers are weak or products are sufficiently differentiated. If R&D spillovers are strong and products are not too differentiated, then output, consumer surplus and total welfare are lower in the Bertrand case than in the Cournot case. Thus a key finding of the paper is that there are circumstances where quantity competition can be more beneficial than price competition both for consumers and for firms.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 21 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 39-55

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:21:y:2003:i:1:p:39-55
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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  1. Amir, Rabah, 2000. "Modelling imperfectly appropriable R&D via spillovers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(7), pages 1013-1032, October.
  2. Motta, Massimo, 1993. "Endogenous Quality Choice: Price vs. Quantity Competition," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 113-131, June.
  3. Qiu, Larry D., 1997. "On the Dynamic Efficiency of Bertrand and Cournot Equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 213-229, July.
  4. Bester, Helmut & Petrakis, Emmanuel, 1993. "The incentives for cost reduction in a differentiated industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 519-534.
  5. Nirvikar Singh & Xavier Vives, 1984. "Price and Quantity Competition in a Differentiated Duopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 546-554, Winter.
  6. Symeonidis, George, 1999. "Cartel stability in advertising-intensive and R&D-intensive industries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 121-129, January.
  7. John Sutton, 1997. "One Smart Agent," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(4), pages 605-628, Winter.
  8. Motta, Massimo, 1992. "Cooperative R&D and vertical product differentiation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 643-661, December.
  9. George Symeonidis, 2000. "Price and Nonprice Competition with Endogenous Market Structure," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(1), pages 53-83, 03.
  10. Vives, Xavier, 1985. "On the efficiency of Bertrand and Cournot equilibria with product differentation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 166-175, June.
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