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On welfare losses due to imperfect competition

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  • Ritz, R.A.

Abstract

Corporate managers and executive compensation in many industries place significant emphasis on measures of firm size, such as sales revenue or market share. Such objectives have an important - yet thus far unquantifed - impact on market performance. With n symmetric firms, equilibrium welfare losses are of order 1/n4, and thus vanish extremely quickly. Welfare losses are less than 5% for many empirically relevant market structures, despite significant firm asymmetry and industry concentration. They can be estimated using only basic information on market shares. These results also apply to oligopsonistic competition (e.g., for retail bank deposits) and strategic forward trading (e.g., in restructured electricity markets).

Suggested Citation

  • Ritz, R.A., 2012. "On welfare losses due to imperfect competition," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1234, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1234
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    Cited by:

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    2. Okumura, Yasunori, 2016. "Individual transferable quotas in Cournot competition," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 315-321.
    3. Genakos, C. & Grey, F. & Ritz, R., 2020. "Generalized linear competition: From pass-through to policy," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2078, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    4. Andrew F. Newman & Patrick Legros, 2011. "Incomplete Contracts and Industrial Organization: A Survey," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-036, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    5. van Eijkel, Remco & Kuper, Gerard H. & Moraga-González, José L., 2016. "Do firms sell forward for strategic reasons? An application to the wholesale market for natural gas," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 1-35.
    6. Johan Willner & Sonja Grönblom, 2021. "Quality provision under conditions of oligopoly," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 132(2), pages 103-131, March.
    7. Corchón, Luis C. & Torregrosa, Ramón J., 2020. "Cournot equilibrium revisited," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 1-10.
    8. Nathan H. Miller & Joseph U. Podwol, 2020. "Forward Contracts, Market Structure and the Welfare Effects of Mergers," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 364-407, June.
    9. Chevalier-Roignant, Benoît & Flath, Christoph M. & Kort, Peter M. & Trigeorgis, Lenos, 2021. "Capacity investment choices under cost heterogeneity and output flexibility in oligopoly," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 290(3), pages 1154-1173.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Delegation; forward trading; managerial incentives; market structure; welfare losses.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices

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