IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cda/wpaper/67.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Imitators and Optimizers in Cournot oligopoly

Author

Listed:
  • Burkhard C. Schipper

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

Abstract

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).

Suggested Citation

  • Burkhard C. Schipper, 2005. "Imitators and Optimizers in Cournot oligopoly," Working Papers 67, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:67
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://repec.dss.ucdavis.edu/files/kG51nPmKvSJ8NaceYhVSXSYi/05-37.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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, June.
    2. Theo Offerman & Jan Potters & Joep Sonnemans, 2002. "Imitation and Belief Learning in an Oligopoly Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 973-997.
    3. 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.
    4. Fershtman, Chaim & Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 927-940, December.
    5. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David, 1998. "Learning in games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 631-639, May.
    6. 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.
    7. Kockesen, Levent & Ok, Efe A. & Sethi, Rajiv, 2000. "The Strategic Advantage of Negatively Interdependent Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 274-299, June.
    8. Gale, Douglas & Rosenthal, Robert W., 1999. "Experimentation, Imitation, and Stochastic Stability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-40, January.
    9. 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.
    10. Rabah Amir & Val E. Lambson, 2000. "On the Effects of Entry in Cournot Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(2), pages 235-254.
    11. Novshek, William, 1985. "Perfectly competitive markets as the limits of cournot markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 72-82, February.
    12. Blume, Lawrence E. & Easley, David, 2002. "Optimality and Natural Selection in Markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 95-135, November.
    13. Samuelson Larry, 1994. "Stochastic Stability in Games with Alternative Best Replies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 35-65, October.
    14. Noldeke, Georg & Samuelson, Larry, 1997. "A Dynamic Model of Equilibrium Selection in Signaling Markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 118-156, March.
    15. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-180, January.
    16. 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.
    17. Alos-Ferrer, Carlos, 2004. "Cournot versus Walras in dynamic oligopolies with memory," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 193-217, February.
    18. Corchon, L.C., 1990. "On Natural Selection in Oligopolistic Markets," Papers 32, Universidad de Alicante - Fundamentos de Analisis Economico.
    19. 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.
    20. Kandori, Michihiro & Mailath, George J & Rob, Rafael, 1993. "Learning, Mutation, and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 29-56, January.
    21. 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.
    22. Amir, R., 1996. "Cournot oligopoly and theory of supermodular games," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1228, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    23. Dürsch, Peter & Kolb, Albert & Oechssler, Jörg & Schipper, Burkhard, 2005. "Rage against the machines : how subjects learn to play against computers," Papers 05-36, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    24. Jorgen W. Weibull, 1997. "Evolutionary Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262731215.
    25. Armen A. Alchian, 1950. "Uncertainty, Evolution, and Economic Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 211-211.
    26. Vives, Xavier, 1990. "Nash equilibrium with strategic complementarities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 305-321.
    27. Amir, Rabah, 1996. "Cournot Oligopoly and the Theory of Supermodular Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 132-148, August.
    28. Juang, Wei-Torng, 2002. "Rule Evolution and Equilibrium Selection," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 71-90, April.
    29. Stahl Dale O., 1993. "Evolution of Smartn Players," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 604-617, October.
    30. repec:tcd:wpaper:tep6 is not listed on IDEAS
    31. 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.
    32. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
    33. 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.
    34. 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.
    35. Noldeke Georg & Samuelson Larry, 1993. "An Evolutionary Analysis of Backward and Forward Induction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 425-454, July.
    36. Slade, Margaret E, 1994. "What Does an Oligopoly Maximize?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 45-61, March.
    37. 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.
    38. Oddvar M. Kaarboe & Alexander F. Tieman, 1999. "Equilibrium Selection under Different Learning Modes in Supermodular Games," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 99-061/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    39. Dürsch, Peter & Kolb, Albert & Oechssler, Jörg & Schipper, Burkhard, 2005. "Rage against the machines : how subjects learn to play against computers," Papers 05-36, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    40. 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.
    41. 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.
    42. Fernando Vega-Redondo, 1997. "The Evolution of Walrasian Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(2), pages 375-384, March.
    43. Schipper, Burkhard C., 2009. "Imitators and optimizers in Cournot oligopoly," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(12), pages 1981-1990, December.
    44. Conlisk, John, 1980. "Costly optimizers versus cheap imitators," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 275-293, September.
    45. Roberts, John & Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1976. "On the existence of Cournot equilbrium without concave profit functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 112-117, August.
    46. 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, August.
    47. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x.
    48. Alvaro Sandroni, 2000. "Do Markets Favor Agents Able to Make Accurate Predicitions?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(6), pages 1303-1342, November.
    49. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1998. "The Theory of Learning in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061945.
    50. Moulin, Herve, 1984. "Dominance solvability and cournot stability," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 83-102, February.
    51. Hommes, Cars H., 2006. "Heterogeneous Agent Models in Economics and Finance," Handbook of Computational Economics, in: Leigh Tesfatsion & Kenneth L. Judd (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 23, pages 1109-1186, Elsevier.
    52. 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)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    profit maximization hypothesis; bounded rationality; learning; Stackelberg;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:cda:wpaper:67. 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: (Letters and Science IT Services Unit). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/educdus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 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.