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Directed Search and the Bertrand Paradox

  • Athanasios Geromichalos

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

I study a directed search model of oligopolistic competition, extended to incorporate general capacity constraints, congestion effects, and pricing based on ex-post realized demand. I show that as long as any one of these ingredients is present, the Bertrand paradox will fail to hold. Hence, I argue that, despite the emphasis that has been placed by the literature on sellers’ capacity constraints as a resolution to the paradox, the existence of such constraints is only a subcase of a general class of environments where the paradox fails. More precisely, Bertrand’s paradox will not arise whenever the buyers’ expected utility from visiting a specific seller is decreasing in that seller’s realized demand.

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Paper provided by University of California, Davis, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1221.

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Length: 23
Date of creation: 25 Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:12-21
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  1. Lester, Benjamin, 2010. "Directed search with multi-vacancy firms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(6), pages 2108-2132, November.
  2. Julien, B. & Kennes, J. & King, I., 1998. "Bidding for Labour," Discussion Papers dp98-03, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  3. Geromichalos, Athanasios, 2012. "Directed search and optimal production," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(6), pages 2303-2331.
  4. repec:dgr:uvatin:20120138 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Manolis Galenianos & Philipp A. Kircher, 2005. "Directed Search with Multiple Job Applications," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse20_2005, University of Bonn, Germany.
  6. Dudey, Marc, 1992. "Dynamic Edgeworth-Bertrand Competition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1461-77, November.
  7. Coles, Melvyn G. & Eeckhout, Jan, 2003. "Indeterminacy and directed search," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 265-276, August.
  8. Jacquet, Nicolas L. & Tan, Serene, 2012. "Wage-vacancy contracts and coordination frictions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(3), pages 1064-1104.
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