IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Imitators and Optimizers in Cournot oligopoly

Listed author(s):
  • Burkhard C. Schipper

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

We analyze a symmetric n-firm Cournot oligopoly with a heterogeneous population of optimizers and imitators. Imitators mimic the output decision of the most successful firms of the previous round a la Vega-Redondo (1997). Optimizers play a myopic best response to the opponents' previous output. Firms are allowed to make mistakes and deviate from their decision rules with a small probability. Applying stochastic stability analysis, we find that the long run distribution converges to a recurrent set of states in which imitators are better off than are optimizers. This finding appears to be robust even when optimizers are more sophisticated. It suggests that imitators drive optimizers out of the market contradicting a fundamental conjecture by Friedman (1953).

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://wp.econ.ucdavis.edu/05-37.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of California, Davis, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 537.

as
in new window

Length: 35
Date of creation: 14 Dec 2005
Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:05-37
Contact details of provider: Postal:
One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616-8578

Phone: (530) 752-0741
Fax: (530) 752-9382
Web page: http://www.econ.ucdavis.edu
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Slade, Margaret E, 1994. "What Does an Oligopoly Maximize?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 45-61, March.
  2. Alex Possajennikov, 2003. "Evolutionary foundations of aggregate-taking behavior," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 21(4), pages 921-928, 06.
  3. Bulow, Jeremy I & Geanakoplos, John D & Klemperer, Paul D, 1985. "Multimarket Oligopoly: Strategic Substitutes and Complements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 488-511, June.
  4. Gerorg Nöldeke & Larry Samuelson, "undated". "A Dynamic Model of Equilibrium Selection In Signaling Markets," ELSE working papers 038, ESRC Centre on Economics Learning and Social Evolution.
  5. Theo Offerman & Jan Potters & Joep Sonnemans, 1997. "Imitation and Belief Learning in an Oligopoly Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 97-116/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  6. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 2000. "Does information about competitors' actions increase or decrease competition in experimental oligopoly markets?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 39-57, January.
  7. Chaim Fershtman & Kenneth L Judd, 1984. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," Discussion Papers 642, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1998. "Learning in Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2222, David K. Levine.
  9. Glenn Ellison, 2000. "Basins of Attraction, Long-Run Stochastic Stability, and the Speed of Step-by-Step Evolution," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(1), pages 17-45.
  10. Kaarboe, O.M. & Tieman, A.F., 1999. "Equilibrium Selection under Different Learning Modes in Supermodular Games," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 1299, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
  11. Kockesen, Levent & Ok, Efe A. & Sethi, Rajiv, 1997. "The Strategic Advantage of Negatively Interdependent Preferences," Working Papers 97-34, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  12. Burkhard C. Schipper & Jorg Oechssler & Albert Kolb, 2005. "Rage Against the Machines: How Subjects Learn to Play Against Computers," Working Papers 516, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  13. G. Noldeke & L. Samuelson, 2010. "An Evolutionary Analysis of Backward and Forward Induction," Levine's Working Paper Archive 538, David K. Levine.
  14. Lawrence E. Blume & David Easley, 1998. "Optimality and Natural Selection in Markets," Working Papers 98-09-082, Santa Fe Institute.
  15. Prajit K. Dutta & Roy Radner, 1999. "Profit Maximization and the Market Selection Hypothesis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(4), pages 769-798.
  16. Hehenkamp, Burkhard & Kaarbøe, Oddvar M., 2003. "Imitators and Optimizers in a Changing Environment," Working Papers in Economics 03/03, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  17. Tesfatsion, Leigh & Judd, Kenneth L., 2006. "Handbook of Computational Economics, Vol. 2: Agent-Based Computational Economics," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10368, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  18. Gale, D. & Rosental, R.W., 1996. "Experimentation, Imitation, and Stochastic Stability," Papers 65, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  19. Schlag, Karl H., 1998. "Why Imitate, and If So, How?, : A Boundedly Rational Approach to Multi-armed Bandits," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 130-156, January.
  20. Rabah Amir & Val E. Lambson, 1998. "On the Effects of Entry in Cournot Markets," CIE Discussion Papers 1998-06, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
  21. Novshek, William, 1985. "Perfectly competitive markets as the limits of cournot markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 72-82, February.
  22. Samuelson Larry, 1994. "Stochastic Stability in Games with Alternative Best Replies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 35-65, October.
  23. Fernando Vega Redondo, 1996. "The evolution of walrasian behavior," Working Papers. Serie AD 1996-05, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  24. Carlos Alós-Ferrer, 2001. "Cournot versus Walras in Dynamic Oligopolies with Memory," Vienna Economics Papers 0110, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  25. AMIR, Rabah, 1994. "Cournot Oligopoly and the Theory of Supermodular Games," CORE Discussion Papers 1994013, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  26. Conlisk, John, 1980. "Costly optimizers versus cheap imitators," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 275-293, September.
  27. Schaffer, Mark E., 1989. "Are profit-maximisers the best survivors? : A Darwinian model of economic natural selection," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 29-45, August.
  28. Milgrom, P. & Shannon, C., 1991. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Papers 11, Stanford - Institute for Thoretical Economics.
  29. Burkhard C. Schipper, 2004. "Submodularity and the evolution of Walrasian behavior," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 32(4), pages 471-477, 08.
  30. ROBERTS, John, "undated". "On the existence of Cournot equilibrium without concave profit functions," CORE Discussion Papers RP 260, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  31. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x.
  32. Droste, Edward & Hommes, Cars & Tuinstra, Jan, 2002. "Endogenous fluctuations under evolutionary pressure in Cournot competition," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 232-269, August.
  33. Corchon, Luis, 1990. "On natural selection in oligopolistic markets," MPRA Paper 18734, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  34. Carlos Alós-Ferrer & Ana Ania, 2005. "The evolutionary stability of perfectly competitive behavior," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 26(3), pages 497-516, October.
  35. M. Kandori & G. Mailath & R. Rob, 1999. "Learning, Mutation and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 500, David K. Levine.
  36. Alvaro Sandroni, 2000. "Do Markets Favor Agents Able to Make Accurate Predicitions?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(6), pages 1303-1342, November.
  37. Jorgen W. Weibull, 1997. "Evolutionary Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262731215.
  38. Armen A. Alchian, 1950. "Uncertainty, Evolution, and Economic Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 211-211.
  39. Vives, Xavier, 1990. "Nash equilibrium with strategic complementarities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 305-321.
  40. Juang, Wei-Torng, 2002. "Rule Evolution and Equilibrium Selection," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 71-90, April.
  41. repec:tcd:wpaper:tep6 is not listed on IDEAS
  42. Dubey, Pradeep & Haimanko, Ori & Zapechelnyuk, Andriy, 2006. "Strategic complements and substitutes, and potential games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 77-94, January.
  43. Moulin, Herve, 1984. "Dominance solvability and cournot stability," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 83-102, February.
  44. Cars H. Hommes, 2005. "Heterogeneous Agent Models in Economics and Finance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-056/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  45. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  46. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 1999. "Learning in Cournot Oligopoly--An Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages 80-95, March.
  47. Rhode, Paul & Stegeman, Mark, 2001. "Non-Nash equilibria of Darwinian dynamics with applications to duopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 415-453, March.
  48. Monderer, Dov & Shapley, Lloyd S., 1996. "Potential Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 124-143, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:05-37. 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: (Scott Dyer)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.