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Computing welfare losses from data under imperfect competition with heterogeneous goods

  • Corchón, Luis C.
  • Zudenkova, Galina

We study the percentage of welfare losses (PWL) yielded by imperfect competition under product differentiation. When demand is linear, even if prices, outputs, costs and the number of firms can be observed, PWL is arbitrary in both Cournot and Bertrand equilibria. If in addition the elasticity of demand (resp. cross elasticity of demand) is known, we can calculate PWL in a Cournot (resp. Bertrand) equilibrium. When demand is isoelastic and there are many firms, PWL can be computed from prices, outputs, costs and the number of firms. We find that price-marginal cost margins and demand elasticities may influence PWL in a counterintuitive way. We also provide conditions under which PWL increases or decreases with concentration.

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

Volume (Year): 27 (2009)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 646-654

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:27:y:2009:i:6:p:646-654
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  1. Anderson, Simon P. & Renault, Regis, 2003. "Efficiency and surplus bounds in Cournot competition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 253-264, December.
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  6. Corchón, Luis C. & Zudenkova, Galina, 2009. "Computing welfare losses from data under imperfect competition with heterogeneous goods," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 646-654, November.
  7. McHardy, J.P., 2000. "Miscalculations of Monopoly and Oligopoly Welfare Losses with Linear Demand," Papers 274, Universite de Nantes - Economie Internationale et de l'Entreprise.
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  11. Häckner, Jonas, 1999. "A Note on Price and Quantity Competition in Differentiated Oligopolies," Research Papers in Economics 1999:9, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  12. Luis C. Corchon, 2006. "Welfare losses under cournot competition," Economics Working Papers we063910, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  13. Amir, Rabah & Jin, Jim Y., 2001. "Cournot and Bertrand equilibria compared: substitutability, complementarity and concavity," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 303-317, March.
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