Oligopoly games with Local Monopolistic Approximation
We propose a repeated oligopoly game where quantity setting firms have incomplete knowledge of the demand function of the market in which they operate. At each time step they solve a profit maximization problem by using a subjective approximation of the demand function based on a local estimate its partial derivative, computed at the current values of prices and outputs, obtained through market experiments. At each time step they extrapolate such local approximation by assuming a linear demand function and ignoring the effects of the competitors outputs. Despite a so rough approximation, that we call "Local Monopolistic Approximation" (LMA), the repeated game may converge to a Nash equilibrium of the true oligopoly game, i.e. the game played under the assumption of full information. An explicit form of the dynamical system that describes the time evolution of oligopoly games with LMA is given for arbitrary differentiable demand functions, provided that the cost functions are linear or quadratic. Sufficient conditions for the local stability of Nash Equilibria are given. In the particular case of an isoelastic demand function, we show that the repeatead game based on LMA always converges to a Nash equilibrium, both with linear and quadratic cost functions. This stability result is compared with "best reply" dynamics, obtained under the assumption of isoelastic demand (fully known by the players) and linear costs.
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