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Competition and Cooperation Among Producers: Cournot Revisited

In: Economics in a Changing World


  • Christian Schmidt

    (University of Paris-Dauphine)


Cournot’s name is generally associated with the analysis of monopoly and for a long time the approach adopted by the author of Recherches sur les principes mathématiques de la théorie des richesses (1838) was seen as an essay in the progressive generalization from a detailed study of monopoly to one of the market economy in general (Roy, 1933; Lutfalla, 1938).2 This general belief, underpinning the dominant interpretation of this work, has had a definite influence on the understanding of its analyses. For example, the criticisms, often divergent, of his treatment of duopoly made by the first generation of economists and mathematicians interested in economics (Bertrand, 1883; Edgeworth, 1891 and 1897; Fisher, 1899; Pareto, 1911) are partly explained by this widespread, but in our opinion largely inexact, view of Cournot’s approach.3

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Schmidt, 1996. "Competition and Cooperation Among Producers: Cournot Revisited," International Economic Association Series, in: Beth Allen (ed.), Economics in a Changing World, chapter 15, pages 356-385, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:intecp:978-1-349-25168-1_15
    DOI: 10.1007/978-1-349-25168-1_15

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