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Edgeworth Cycles and Focal Prices: Computational Dynamic Markov Equilibria


  • Noel, Michael D.


Motivated by the discovery of apparent Edgeworth Cycles in many retail gasoline markets, this paper extends the Maskin & Tirole [1988] theory Edgeworth Cycles to a wide range of more complicated and realistic settings. Taking a computational approach to search for Markov Perfect Equilibria, I examine models involving duopoly and triopoly, differentiation, capacity constraints, and different sharing rules, discount factors and initial beliefs about price leading behavior. I find Edgeworth Cycles equilibrium in many scenarios outside the homogenous-good Bertrand mold. Cycle characteristics and average markups depend on the scenario.

Suggested Citation

  • Noel, Michael D., 2004. "Edgeworth Cycles and Focal Prices: Computational Dynamic Markov Equilibria," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt59t3g818, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsdec:qt59t3g818

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Slade, Margaret E, 1987. "Interfirm Rivalry in a Repeated Game: An Empirical Test of Tacit Collusion," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 499-516, June.
    2. Doraszelski, Ulrich & Pakes, Ariel, 2007. "A Framework for Applied Dynamic Analysis in IO," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
    3. Jean-Pierre Benoit & Vijay Krishna, 1987. "Dynamic Duopoly: Prices and Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(1), pages 23-35.
    4. Reynolds, Stanley S. & Wilson, Bart J., 2000. "Bertrand-Edgeworth Competition, Demand Uncertainty, and Asymmetric Outcomes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 122-141, May.
    5. Kovenock, Dan & Roy, Suddhasatwa, 1998. "Dynamic capacity choice in a Bertrand-Edgeworth frameqork," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 135-160, March.
    6. Godby, Rob & Lintner, Anastasia M. & Stengos, Thanasis & Wandschneider, Bo, 2000. "Testing for asymmetric pricing in the Canadian retail gasoline market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 349-368, June.
    7. William A. Brock & José A. Scheinkman, 1985. "Price Setting Supergames with Capacity Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(3), pages 371-382.
    8. Eckert, Andrew, 2003. "Retail price cycles and the presence of small firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 151-170, February.
    9. Brown-Kruse, Jamie, et al, 1994. "Bertrand-Edgeworth Competition in Experimental Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 343-372, March.
    10. Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1986. "A Supergame-Theoretic Model of Price Wars during Booms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 390-407, June.
    11. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 2001. "Markov Perfect Equilibrium: I. Observable Actions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 191-219, October.
    12. Andrew Eckert, 2002. "Retail price cycles and response asymmetry," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(1), pages 52-77, February.
    13. Margaret E. Slade, 1992. "Vancouver's Gasoline-Price Wars: An Empirical Exercise in Uncovering Supergame Strategies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(2), pages 257-276.
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      D43; L11; L13;

      JEL classification:

      • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
      • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
      • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets


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