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Cournot and Bertrand Games


  • Steven R. Beckman


The author describes a series of matrix choice games illustrating monopoly, shared monopoly, Cournot, Bertrand, and Stackelberg behavior given either perfect complements or perfect substitutes. The games are created by using a spreadsheet to fill out a profit table given the choices of two players. One player selects the column, the other the row, and the table gives the profit of the row chooser. Because each player has a table, each thinks of him- or herself as the row chooser and the other as the column chooser. The games may be applied to international trade through the traditional Boeing v. Airbus story or, more currently, through foreign sales corporations. Addition of Bertrand competition allows discussion of price wars, and addition of perfect complements allows discussion of the proposed Microsoft breakup.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven R. Beckman, 2003. "Cournot and Bertrand Games," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 27-35, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:34:y:2003:i:1:p:27-35 DOI: 10.1080/00220480309595198

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Charles A. Holt & Monica Capra, 2000. "Classroom Games: A Prisoner's Dilemma," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(3), pages 229-236, September.
    2. Reinhard Selten, 1973. "A Simple Model of Imperfect Competition, where 4 are Few and 6 are Many," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 008, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
    3. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-1326, December.
    4. Brauer, Jurgen & Delemeester, Greg, 2001. " Games Economists Play: A Survey of Non-computerized Classroom-Games for College Economics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(2), pages 221-236, April.
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