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On the Strategic Importance of Prices versus Quantities


  • James W. Friedman


In this article I investigate three single-shot models of differentiated-products oligopoly. In each model firms choose both output and price. The demand, cost, and spillover demand specifications are quite general, and there are three main results. First, with simultaneous choice there is no pure-strategy noncooperative equilibrium. Second, with output chosen first and announced to all firms before the choice of price, equilibrium sometimes exists, and when it does, it is the same as in a quantity-only model. Third, with price chosen and announced first, equilibrium always exists and is the same as in a price-only model.

Suggested Citation

  • James W. Friedman, 1988. "On the Strategic Importance of Prices versus Quantities," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(4), pages 607-622, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:19:y:1988:i:winter:p:607-622

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Cracau & Benjamin Franz, 2012. "An experimental study of mixed strategy equilibria in simultaneous price-quantity games," FEMM Working Papers 120017, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    2. García Díaz, Antón & Kujal, Praveen, 1998. "List princing and pure strategy outcomes in a bertrand edgeworth duopoly," UC3M Working papers. Economics 6089, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    3. Toshihiro Matsumura & Akira Ogawa, 2016. "Corporate social responsibility and endogenous competition structure," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(4), pages 2117-2127.
    4. repec:ctc:serie1:def11 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. d'Aspremont, Claude & Dos Santos Ferreira, Rodolphe, 2009. "Price-quantity competition with varying toughness," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 62-82, January.
    6. van den Berg, Anita & Bos, Iwan, 2017. "Collusion in a price-quantity oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 159-185.
    7. Hongmin Li & Woonghee Tim Huh, 2011. "Pricing Multiple Products with the Multinomial Logit and Nested Logit Models: Concavity and Implications," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 13(4), pages 549-563, October.
    8. Ivaldi, Marc & Jullien, Bruno & Rey, Patrick & Seabright, Paul & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "The Economics of Unilateral Effects," IDEI Working Papers 222, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    9. Jan Zouhar, 2016. "PQ oligopoly, proportional rationing, and randomly ordered consumers," Central European Journal of Operations Research, Springer;Slovak Society for Operations Research;Hungarian Operational Research Society;Czech Society for Operations Research;Österr. Gesellschaft für Operations Research (ÖGOR);Slovenian Society Informatika - Section for Operational Research;Croatian Operational Research Society, vol. 24(2), pages 455-471, June.
    10. Assenza, Tiziana & Grazzini, Jakob & Hommes, Cars & Massaro, Domenico, 2015. "PQ strategies in monopolistic competition: Some insights from the lab," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 62-77.
    11. D. J. Wu & Paul R. Kleindorfer, 2005. "Competitive Options, Supply Contracting, and Electronic Markets," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(3), pages 452-466, March.
    12. Young David, 2010. "Endogenous Investment and Pricing under Uncertainty," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-29, January.
    13. Hinloopen, Jeroen & van Marrewijk, Charles, 1999. "On the limits and possibilities of the principle of minimum differentiation1," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 735-750, July.

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