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Oligopolistic Competition as a Common Agency Game

  • Claude, D’ASPREMONT
  • Rodolphe, DOS SANTOS FERREIRA

In applying the common agency framework to the context of an oligopolistic industry, we want to go beyond the classical dichotomy between Cournot and Bertrand competition. We define two games, the oligopolistic game and the corresponding concept of oligopolistic equilibrium, and an associated auxiliary game that can be interpreted as a common agency game and that has the same set of equilibria. The parameterization of the set of (potential) equilibria in terms of competitive thoughness is derived from the first order conditions of the auxiliary game. The enforceability of monopolistic competition, of price and quantity competition, and of collusion is examined in this framework. We then describe the (reduced) set of equilibria one would obtain, first in the non-intrinsic case and then in the case where a global approach would be adopted instead of partial equilibrium approach. Finally, we illustrate the use of the concept of oligopolistic equilibrium and of the corresponding parameterization by referring to the standard case of symmetric quadratic utility.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques in its series Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) with number 2005018.

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Length: 32
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvec:2005018
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  1. David Martimort & Lars Stole, 2009. "Market participation in delegated and intrinsic common-agency games," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(1), pages 78-102.
  2. d'Aspremont, Claude & Dos Santos Ferreira, Rodolphe, 2009. "Price-quantity competition with varying toughness," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 62-82, January.
  3. Doyle, Christopher, 1988. "Different selling strategies in Bertrand oligopoly," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 387-390.
  4. Laussel, Didier & Le Breton, Michel, 2001. "Conflict and Cooperation: The Structure of Equilibrium Payoffs in Common Agency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 93-128, September.
  5. Grether, David M. & Plott, Charles R., . "The Effects of Market Practices in Oligopolistic Markets: An Experimental Examination of the Ethyl Case," Working Papers 404, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  6. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1985. "Common Marketing Agency as a Device for Facilitating Collusion," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(2), pages 269-281, Summer.
  7. d'ASPREMONT, Claude & DOS SANTOS-FERREIRA, Rodolphe & GÉRARD-VARET, Louis-André, 2003. "Competition for market share or for market size: oligopolistic equilibria with varying competitive toughness," CORE Discussion Papers 2003010, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  8. Martimort, David, 1994. "Exclusive Dealing, Common Agency and Multiprincipals Incentive Theory," IDEI Working Papers 43, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised 1996.
  9. Ehud Kalai & Mark A. Satterthwaite, 1986. "The Kinked Demand Curve," Discussion Papers 677, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Martimort, David, 1992. "Multi-Principaux avec Anti-Sélection," IDEI Working Papers 14, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  11. Charles A. Holt & David T. Scheffman, 1987. "Facilitating Practices: The Effects of Advance Notice and Best-Price Policies," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(2), pages 187-197, Summer.
  12. Claudio Mezzetti, 1997. "Common Agency with Horizontally Differentiated Principals," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(2), pages 323-345, Summer.
  13. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Common Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 923-42, July.
  14. Michael Peters, 1999. "Common Agency and the Revelation Principle," Working Papers peters-99-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  15. Martimort, David & Stole, Lars, 1999. "Contractual Externalities and Common Agency Equilibria," IDEI Working Papers 110, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised 2003.
  16. Hugo Sonnenschein, 1968. "The Dual of Duopoly Is Complementary Monopoly: or, Two of Cournot's Theories Are One," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 316.
  17. David Martimort & Lars Stole, 2001. "The Revelation and Delegation Principles in Common Agency Games," CESifo Working Paper Series 575, CESifo Group Munich.
  18. d'Aspremont, C & Ferreira, R Dos Santos & Gerard-Varet, L-A, 1991. "Pricing Schemes and Cournotian Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 666-73, June.
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