IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A simple model of imperfect competition, where 4 are few and 6 are many


  • Selten, Reinhard

    (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)


It is a widely held belief that in imperfect markets the tendency to cooperate depends on the number of competitors. E.H. Chamberlin's distinction between the small group and the large group is based on this assumption. Cooperative forms of behaviour like joint profit maximization are assumed to be typical for markets with a small number of competitors and non-cooperative equilibria are expected, if the number of suppliers is sufficiently large. The theory presented in this paper investigates the connection between the number of competitors and the tendency to cooperate within the context of a simple model. The proposition that few suppliers will maximize their joint profits whereas many suppliers are likely to behave non-cooperatively does not appear as an assumption but as a conclusion of the theory.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Selten, Reinhard, 2017. "A simple model of imperfect competition, where 4 are few and 6 are many," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 8, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
  • Handle: RePEc:bie:wpaper:8

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First Version, 1973
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bie:wpaper:8. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bettina Weingarten). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.