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Statistical moments analysis of production and welfare in multi-product Cournot oligopoly

  • Lapan, Harvey E.
  • Hennessy, David A.

Our context involves N Cournot oligopolists producing M products at constant marginal costs when preferences are quasi-linear. We identify relationships between second moments of unit costs and second moments of firm-level production. For example, a larger variance in unit costs of a product increases own output variance and the variance of any other output. We also investigate how second moments of unit costs affect industry cost efficiency. Industry costs can rise if the wrong firm secures a cost reduction. For quadratic preferences, it is shown that Zhao's (Zhao, J., 2001. A characterization for the negative welfare effects of cost reduction in Cournot oligopoly. International Journal of Industrial Organization 19, 455-469 (3-4, March)) share criteria for an increase in unit costs to increase welfare extend to the multi-product setting.

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

Volume (Year): 26 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 598-606

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:26:y:2008:i:2:p:598-606
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  1. Zhao, Jingang, 2001. "A characterization for the negative welfare effects of cost reduction in Cournot oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 455-469, March.
  2. Lapan, Harvey E. & Hennessy, David A., 2006. "A note on cost arrangement and market performance in a multi-product Cournot oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 583-591, May.
  3. Bergstrom, Theodore C. & Varian, Hal R., 1985. "Two remarks on Cournot equilibria," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 5-8.
  4. Fevrier, Philippe & Linnemer, Laurent, 2004. "Idiosyncratic shocks in an asymmetric Cournot oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 835-848, June.
  5. Long, Ngo Van & Soubeyran, Antoine, 2001. "Cost Manipulation Games in Oligopoly, with Costs of Manipulating," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(2), pages 505-33, May.
  6. Ngo Long & Antoine Soubeyran, 2005. "Selective penalization of polluters: an inf-convolution approach," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 421-454, 02.
  7. 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.
  8. Grossmann, Volker, 2007. "Firm size and diversification: Multiproduct firms in asymmetric oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 51-67, February.
  9. Moschini, GianCarlo & Moro, D. & Green, Richard D., 1994. "Maintaining and Testing Separability in Demand Systems," Staff General Research Papers 11247, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  10. Van Long, N. & Soubeyran, A., 1996. "Cost Heterogeneity, Industry Concentration and Startegic Trade Policies," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 96a39, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  11. Lapan, Harvey E. & Hennessy, David A., 2006. "Note on Cost Arrangement and Market Performance in a Multi-Product Cournot Oligopoly, A," Staff General Research Papers 12720, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  12. Lahiri, Sajal & Ono, Yoshiyasu, 1988. "Helping Minor Firms Reduces Welfare," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 1199-1202, December.
  13. Wang, X. Henry & Zhao, Jingang, 2007. "Welfare reductions from small cost reductions in differentiated oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 173-185, February.
  14. Seade, J, 1985. "Profitable Cost Increases and the Shifting of Taxation : Equilibrium Response of Markets in Oligopoly," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 260, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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