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On Public Inefficiencies in a Mixed Duopoly

  • Capuano, Carlo
  • De Feo, Giuseppe

The aim of this paper is to investigate the welfare effect of a change in the public firms objective function in oligopoly when the government takes into account the distortionary effect of rising funds by taxation (shadow cost of public funds). We analyze the impact of a shift from welfare- to profit-maximizing behaviour of the public firm on the timing of competition by endogenizing the determination of simultaneous (Nash-Cournot) versus sequential (Stackelberg) games using the game with observable delay proposed by Hamilton and Slutsky (1990). Differently from previous work that assumed the timing of competition, we show that, absent efficiency gains, instructing the public firm to play as a private one never increases welfare. Moreover, even when large efficiency gains result from the shift in public firm's objective, an inefficient public firm that maximizes welfare may be preferred.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10943/98
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Paper provided by Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE) in its series SIRE Discussion Papers with number 2009-35.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:98
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  1. Rabah Amir & Anna Stepanova, 2000. "Second-Mover Advantage and Price Leadership in Bertrand Duopoly," CIE Discussion Papers 2000-10, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
  2. Amir, Rabah & Grilo, Isabel, 1999. "Stackelberg versus Cournot Equilibrium," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-21, January.
  3. Kandori, M. & Mailath, G.J., 1991. "Learning, Mutation, And Long Run Equilibria In Games," Papers 71, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - John M. Olin Program.
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  5. Matsumura, Toshihiro, 1998. "Partial privatization in mixed duopoly," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 473-483, December.
  6. Cooper, Russell, et al, 1990. "Selection Criteria in Coordination Games: Some Experimental Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 218-33, March.
  7. Glen Ellison, 2010. "Learning, Local Interaction, and Coordination," Levine's Working Paper Archive 391, David K. Levine.
  8. Eric van Damme & Sjaak Hurkens, 2001. "Endogenous price leadership," Economics Working Papers 581, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  9. Pal, Debashis, 1998. "Endogenous timing in a mixed oligopoly," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 181-185, November.
  10. CLAUDE, Denis & HINDRIKS, Jean, 2005. "Strategic privatization and regulation policy in mixed markets," CORE Discussion Papers 2005015, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. Jeffry M. Netter & William L. Megginson, 2001. "From State to Market: A Survey of Empirical Studies on Privatization," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 321-389, June.
  12. Hamilton, J.H. & Slutsky, S.M., 1988. "Endogenous Timing In Duopoly Games: Stackelberg Or Cournot Equilibria," Papers 88-4, Florida - College of Business Administration.
  13. de Fraja, Giovanni & Delbono, Flavio, 1989. "Alternative Strategies of a Public Enterprise in Oligopoly," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(2), pages 302-11, April.
  14. Willner, Johan, 2001. "Ownership, efficiency, and political interference," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 723-748, November.
  15. Cremer, Helmuth & Marchand, Maurice & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1989. "The Public Firm as an Instrument for Regulating an Oligopolistic Market," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(2), pages 283-301, April.
  16. Kenneth Fjell & Debashis Pal, 1996. "A Mixed Oligopoly in the Presence of Foreign Private Firms," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(3), pages 737-43, August.
  17. Debashis Pal & Mark D. White, 1998. "Mixed Oligopoly, Privatization, and Strategic Trade Policy," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(2), pages 264-281, October.
  18. David M. Newbery, 2002. "Privatization, Restructuring, and Regulation of Network Utilities," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262640481, March.
  19. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, March.
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