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The robustness of industrial commodity oligopoly pricing strategies

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  • David M. Newbery
  • Thomas P. Greve

Abstract

Industrial commodity markets are typically oligopolies in which firms set prices but need to make sunk and durable investment decisions, requiring them to make predictions of future prices. Mark-up pricing models are attractive both for setting prices and predicting future prices for investment analysis. Simple algorithms can find Nash equilibria, but these equilibria are not necessarily robust. This paper examines fixed and proportional mark-up models and demonstrates that they are robust to single firm Nash Cournot deviations but not against more sophisticated deviations in the deterministic case. Cournot equilibria are not robust under demand uncertainty, where proportional mark-up models emerge as the most robust when marginal costs are increasing.

Suggested Citation

  • David M. Newbery & Thomas P. Greve, 2015. "The robustness of industrial commodity oligopoly pricing strategies," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1540, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1540
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    File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research-files/repec/cam/pdf/cwpe1540.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    market modelling; mark-up equilibria; robustness; oligopoly;

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities

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