IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Symmetry-breaking in two-player games via strategic substitutes and diagonal nonconcavity: A synthesis

  • Amir, Rabah
  • Garcia, Filomena
  • Knauff, Malgorzata

This paper is an attempt to develop a unified approach to symmetry-breaking in strategic models arising in industrial organization by constructing two general classes of two-player symmetric games that always possess only asymmetric pure-strategy Nash equilibria. These classes of games are characterized in some abstract sense by two general properties: payoff nonconcavities and some form of strategic substitutability. Our framework relies on easily verified assumptions on the primitives of the game, and relies on the theory of supermodular games. The underlying natural assumptions are satisfied in a number of two-stage models with an investment decision preceding product market competition. To illustrate the generality and wide scope for application of our approach, we present some existing models dealing with R&D, capacity expansion and information provision, which motivated this study.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 145 (2010)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 1968-1986

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:145:y:2010:i:5:p:1968-1986
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Federico Echenique., 2000. "Comparative Statics by Adaptive Dynamics and The Correspondence Principle," Economics Working Papers E00-273, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 2000. "Endogenous Inequality," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 743-59, October.
  3. Mills, David E. & Smith, William, 1996. "It pays to be different: Endogenous heterogeneity of firms in an oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 317-329, May.
  4. Vives, Xavier, 1990. "Nash equilibrium with strategic complementarities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 305-321.
  5. Echenique, Federico & Edlin, Aaron, 2002. "Mixed Equilibria in Games of Strategic Complements Are Unstable," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1gr638d8, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  6. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  7. Ireland, Norman J, 1993. "The Provision of Information in a Bertrand Oligopoly," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 61-76, March.
  8. Jaskold Gabszewicz, J. & Thisse, J. -F., 1979. "Price competition, quality and income disparities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 340-359, June.
  9. Maggi, Giovanni, 1996. "Strategic Trade Policies with Endogenous Mode of Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 237-58, March.
  10. Amir, Rabah & Wooders, John, 2000. "One-Way Spillovers, Endogenous Innovator/Imitator Roles, and Research Joint Ventures," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-25, April.
  11. David Besanko & Ulrich Doraszelski, 2004. "Capacity Dynamics and Endogenous Asymmetries in Firm Size," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(1), pages 23-49, Spring.
  12. Ngo Van Long & Antoine Soubeyran, 1999. "Cost Manipulation Games in Oligopoly, with Costs of Manipulating," CIRANO Working Papers 99s-13, CIRANO.
  13. Cooper, Russell & John, Andrew, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-63, August.
  14. Mintz, J. & Tulkens, H., 1984. "Commodity tax competition between member states of a federation: equilibrium and efficiency," CORE Discussion Papers 1984027, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  15. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
  16. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1988. "Industrialization and the Big Push," NBER Working Papers 2708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2002. "Explaining Diversity: Symmetry-Breaking in Complementarity Games," Discussion Papers 1336, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  18. Carl Davidson & Raymond Deneckere, 1986. "Long-Run Competition in Capacity, Short-Run Competition in Price, and the Cournot Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 404-415, Autumn.
  19. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-80, January.
  20. AMIR, Rabah, 1994. "Cournot Oligopoly and the Theory of Supermodular Games," CORE Discussion Papers 1994013, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  21. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2002. "Financial Market Globalization, Symmetry-Breaking, and Endogenous Inequality of Nations," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-186, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  22. Reynolds, Stanley S. & Wilson, Bart J., 2000. "Bertrand-Edgeworth Competition, Demand Uncertainty, and Asymmetric Outcomes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 122-141, May.
  23. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "Rationalizability, Learning, and Equilibrium in Games with Strategic Complementarities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1255-77, November.
  24. 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.
  25. Tabuchi, Takatoshi & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1995. "Asymmetric equilibria in spatial competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 213-227.
  26. Dasgupta, Partha & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, I: Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 1-26, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:145:y:2010:i:5:p:1968-1986. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.