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On Welfare under Cournot and Bertrand Competition in Differentiated Oligopolies

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Abstract

Häckner (2000, Journal of Economic Theory 93, 233–239) shows that in a differentiated oligopoly with more than two firms, prices may be higher under Bertrand competition than under Cournot competition, implying that the classical result of Singh and Vives (1984, Rand Journal of Economics, 15, 546–554) that Bertrand prices are always lower than Cournot prices is sensitive to the duopoly assumption. Häckner (2000, Journal of Economic Theory, 93, 233–239), however, leaves unanswered the important question of whether welfare may be lower under price competition. This note shows that in Häckner’s model both consumer surplus and total surplus are higher under price competition than under quantity competition, regardless of whether goods are substitutes or complements. Copyright Springer 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Judy Hsu & X. Wang, 2005. "On Welfare under Cournot and Bertrand Competition in Differentiated Oligopolies," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 27(2), pages 185-191, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:revind:v:27:y:2005:i:2:p:185-191
    DOI: 10.1007/s11151-005-1753-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Avinash Dixit, 1979. "A Model of Duopoly Suggesting a Theory of Entry Barriers," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 20-32, Spring.
    2. Nirvikar Singh & Xavier Vives, 1984. "Price and Quantity Competition in a Differentiated Duopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 546-554, Winter.
    3. Hackner, Jonas, 2000. "A Note on Price and Quantity Competition in Differentiated Oligopolies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 233-239, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bertrand; Cournot; differentiated oligopoly; welfare;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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