Does Cost Uncertainty in the Bertrand Model Soften Competition?
Although naive intuition may indicate the opposite, the existing literature suggests that uncertainty about costs in the homogeneous-good Bertrand model intensifies competition: it lowers price and raises total surplus (but also makes profits go up). Those results, however, are derived under two assumptions that, if relaxed, conceivably could reverse the results. The present paper first shows that the results hold also if drastic innovations are possible. Next, the paper assumes asymmetric cost distributions, a possibility that is empirically highly plausible but which has been neglected in the previous literature. Using numerical methods it is shown that, under this assumption, uncertainty lowers price and raises total surplus even more than with identical distributions. However, if the asymmetry is large enough, industry profits are lower under uncertainty; this is in contrast to the known results and reinforces the notion that uncertainty intensifies competition rather than softens it.
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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
|Order Information:|| Email: |
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.:
- Kirkegaard, René, 2009. "Asymmetric first price auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(4), pages 1617-1635, July.
- Maskin, Eric & Riley, John, 2000. "Asymmetric Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 413-38, July.
- Robert G. Hansen, 1988. "Auctions with Endogenous Quantity," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 44-58, Spring.
- Marshall Robert C. & Meurer Michael J. & Richard Jean-Francois & Stromquist Walter, 1994. "Numerical Analysis of Asymmetric First Price Auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 193-220, September.
- Leandro Arozamena & erico Weinschelbaum, 2008.
"Simultaneous vs. Sequential Price Competition with Incomplete Information,"
Department of Economics Working Papers
2008_3, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
- Arozamena, Leandro & Weinschelbaum, Federico, 2009. "Simultaneous vs. sequential price competition with incomplete information," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 23-26, July.
- Paul Klemperer, 1999.
"Auction Theory: A Guide to the Literature,"
Economics Series Working Papers
1999-W12, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Paul Klemperer, 1999. "Auction Theory: A Guide to the Literature," Microeconomics 9903002, EconWPA.
- Klemperer, P., 1999. "Auction Theory: a Guide to the Literature," Economics Papers 1999-w12, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
- Klemperer, Paul, 1999. "Auction Theory: a Guide to the Literature," CEPR Discussion Papers 2163, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Wayne-Roy Gayle & Jean Richard, 2008. "Numerical Solutions of Asymmetric, First-Price, Independent Private Values Auctions," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 32(3), pages 245-278, October.
- Fibich, Gadi & Gavish, Nir, 2011. "Numerical simulations of asymmetric first-price auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 479-495.
- Li, Huagang & Riley, John G., 2007. "Auction choice," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1269-1298, December.
- Raith, Michael, 1996. "A General Model of Information Sharing in Oligopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 260-288, October.
- Matthew Spiegel & Heather Tookes, 2008. "Dynamic Competition, Innovation and Strategic Financing," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2500, Yale School of Management.
- Blume, Andreas, 2003. "Bertrand without fudge," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 167-168, February.
- Lofaro, Andrea, 2002. "On the efficiency of Bertrand and Cournot competition under incomplete information," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 561-578, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8817. 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: ()The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask to update the entry or send us the correct address
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.