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Dynamic Duopoly with Learning through Market Experimentation


  • Aghion, Philippe
  • Espinosa, Maria Paz
  • Jullien, Bruno


This paper analyzes how learning behaviors can substantially modify the outcome of competition in an oligopolistic industry facing demand uncertainty. We consider the case of a symmetric duopoly game where firms have imperfect information about market demand and learn through observing the volume of their sales. The main body of the paper consists in showing how market experimentation can explain the existence of price-dispersion in an oligopolistic industry. We study this phenomenon and its dynamic evolution in the context of an Hotelling duopoly model; we then extend the analysis to general demand functions and to N-firm oligopolies. We discuss some implications of the public good aspect of information about market demand. We then conclude with a few comments on what happens when the value of information in the oligopolistic industry is negative.

Suggested Citation

  • Aghion, Philippe & Espinosa, Maria Paz & Jullien, Bruno, 1993. "Dynamic Duopoly with Learning through Market Experimentation," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 3(3), pages 517-539, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:3:y:1993:i:3:p:517-39

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Radner, Roy, 1979. "Rational Expectations Equilibrium: Generic Existence and the Information Revealed by Prices," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 655-678, May.
    2. Forges, Francoise & Minelli, Enrico, 1997. "Self-Fulfilling Mechanisms and Rational Expectations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 388-406, August.
    3. Milgrom, Paul & Stokey, Nancy, 1982. "Information, trade and common knowledge," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 17-27, February.
    4. Geanakoplos, John D. & Polemarchakis, Heraklis M., 1982. "We can't disagree forever," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 192-200, October.
    5. MINELLI, Enrico & POLEMARCHAKIS, Heracles, 1993. "Knowledge at Equilibrium," CORE Discussion Papers 1993054, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    6. Kreps, David M., 1977. "A note on "fulfilled expectations" equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 32-43, February.
    7. Gerard Debreu, 1959. "Topological Methods in Cardinal Utility Theory," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 76, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    8. Forges, Francoise & Minelli, Enrico, 1997. "A Property of Nash Equilibria in Repeated Games with Incomplete Information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 159-175, February.
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