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Equilibrium structures in vertical oligopoly


  • Abiru, Masahiro
  • Nahata, Babu
  • Raychaudhuri, Subhashis
  • Waterson, Michael


The central purpose of this paper is to examine vertical integration as an equilibrium phenomenon. We model it as integration between Cournot oligopolists in both the upstream and the downstream stages. We consider the issue of private profitability versus collective profitability and show that under several situations the equilibrium outcomes may result in a Prisoner's dilemma. The analysis is extended to consider equilibrium outcomes in a dynamic setting, where we find no integration to be a relatively common outcome.
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  • Abiru, Masahiro & Nahata, Babu & Raychaudhuri, Subhashis & Waterson, Michael, 1998. "Equilibrium structures in vertical oligopoly," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 463-480, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:37:y:1998:i:4:p:463-480

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Géarard Gaudet & Ngo Long, 1996. "Vertical Integration, Foreclosure, and profits in the Presence of Double Marginalization," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 409-432, September.
    6. Ordover, Janusz A & Saloner, Garth & Salop, Steven C, 1990. "Equilibrium Vertical Foreclosure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 127-142, March.
    7. Michael A. Salinger, 1988. "Vertical Mergers and Market Foreclosure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(2), pages 345-356.
    8. Lin, Y Joseph, 1988. "Oligopoly and Vertical Integration: Note," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 251-254, March.
    9. Greenhut, M L & Ohta, H, 1979. "Vertical Integration of Successive Oligopolists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 137-141, March.
    10. Colangelo, Giuseppe, 1995. "Vertical vs. Horizontal Integration: Pre-emptive Merging," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 323-337, September.
    11. Hart, O. & Tirole, J., 1990. "Vertical Integration And Market Foreclosure," Working papers 548, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    12. Muris, Timothy J & Scheffman, David T & Spiller, Pablo T, 1992. "Strategy and Transaction Costs: The Organization of Distribution in the Carbonated Soft Drink Industry," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 83-128, Spring.
    13. Alexander Schrader & Stephen Martin, 1998. "Vertical Market Participation," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 13(3), pages 321-331, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Feenstra, Robert C. & Huang, Deng-Shing & Hamilton, Gary G., 2003. "A market-power based model of business groups," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 459-485, August.
    2. Arijit Mukherjee, 2002. "Licensing in a Vertically Separated Industry," Industrial Organization 0211005, EconWPA.
    3. Arghya Ghosh & Hodaka Morita, 2007. "Free entry and social efficiency under vertical oligopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(2), pages 541-554, June.
    4. Buehler, Stefan & Haucap, Justus, 2006. "Strategic outsourcing revisited," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 325-338, November.
    5. Chang, Shu-hua & Lai, Ching-chong, 2016. "Vertical separation versus vertical integration in an endogenously growing economy," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 359-380.
    6. Lai, Ching-chong & Chin, Chi-ting & Chang, Shu-hua, 2010. "Vertical separation versus vertical integration in a macroeconomic model with imperfect competition," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 590-602, October.
    7. Thépot, Jacques & Netzer, Jean-Luc, 2008. "On the optimality of the full-cost pricing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 282-292, October.
    8. Ahmad Reza Saboori Memar & Georg Götz, 2013. "R&D Incentives in Vertically Related Markets," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201307, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    9. Thomas Grandner, 2000. "A Note on Unionized Firms' Incentive to Integrate Vertically," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp070, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    10. Scott M. Carr & Uday S. Karmarkar, 2005. "Competition in Multiechelon Assembly Supply Chains," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(1), pages 45-59, January.
    11. Walter Elberfeld, 2001. "Explaining Intraindustry Differences in the Extent of Vertical Integration," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 157(3), pages 465-477, September.
    12. Stefania Borla, "undated". "Horizontal and Vertial Integration in the Presence of Research Spillovers," Discussion Papers 04/12, Department of Economics, University of York.
    13. Baake, Pio & Kamecke, Ulrich & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2004. "Vertical foreclosure versus downstream competition with capital precommitment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 185-192, February.
    14. Buehler, Stefan & Schmutzler, Armin, 2008. "Intimidating competitors -- Endogenous vertical integration and downstream investment in successive oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 247-265, January.
    15. Grandner, Thomas, 2000. "A note on unionized firms' incentive to integrate vertically," Department of Economics Working Paper Series 1276, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    16. Klaus Kultti & Tuomas Takalo & Tanja Tanayama, 2015. "R&D spillovers and information exchange: a case study," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 5(1), pages 63-76, June.
    17. Ioannis Pinopoulos, 2014. "Downstream Market Power and the Lerner Index," Discussion Paper Series 2014_07, Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, revised Nov 2014.
    18. Matsushima Noriaki & Mizuno Tomomichi, 2012. "Equilibrium Vertical Integration with Complementary Input Markets," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-32, June.
    19. Bühler, Stefan & Schmutzler, Armin, 2003. "Who Integrates?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4066, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Grandner, Thomas, 2001. "Unions in oligopolistic, vertically connected industries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1723-1740, October.
    21. Arijit Mukherjee & Udo Broll & Soma Mukherjee, 2009. "The welfare effects of entry: the role of the input market," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 98(3), pages 189-201, December.
    22. Noriaki Matsushima & Tomomichi Mizuno, 2007. "Why do large firms tend to integrate vertically? - asymmetric vertical integration reconsidered -," Discussion Papers 2007-34, Kobe University, Graduate School of Business Administration.
    23. BELLEFLAMME, Paul & TOULEMONDE, Eric, 2004. "B2B marketplaces : Emergence and entry," CORE Discussion Papers 2004078, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    24. Zhiyong Yao & Wen Zhou, 2011. "Endogenous Merger Waves in Vertically Related Industries," Working Papers 11-34, NET Institute.
    25. Atallah, Gamal, 2007. "Monopolization through endogenous vertical mergers," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 99-104, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • F49 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Other
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy


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