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Managerial Incentives and Stackelberg Equilibria in Oligopoly

  • Marcella Scrimitore

The paper investigates both quantity and price oligopoly games in markets with a variable number of managerial and entrepreneurial firms which defines market structure. Following Vickers (Economic Journal, 1985) which establishes an equivalence between the equilibrium under unilateral delegation and the Stackelberg quantity equilibrium, the outcomes of these games are compared with the ones in sequential multi-leaders and multi-followers games. The profitability of a managerial/entrepreneurial attitude vs leadership/followership is shown to critically depend upon the kind of strategy, price or quantity, and upon the assumed market structure. Indeed, the latter turns out to be crucial in determining the equivalence result that is shown to be contingent on the assumption that just one leader or one managerial firm operate in the market. A welfare analysis finally highlights the differences between the delegation and the sequential games, focusing on the impact of market structure and imperfect substitutability on the equilibria of the two games.

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Paper provided by Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels in its series EERI Research Paper Series with number EERI_RP_2010_39.

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Date of creation: 19 Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eei:rpaper:eeri_rp_2010_39
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  1. Vickers, John, 1985. "Delegation and the Theory of the Firm," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(380a), pages 138-47, Supplemen.
  2. Steffen Huck & Pedro Rey-Biel, 2006. "Endogenous Leadership in Teams," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 162(2), pages 253-261, June.
  3. Hamilton, Jonathan H. & Slutsky, Steven M., 1990. "Endogenous timing in duopoly games: Stackelberg or cournot equilibria," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 29-46, March.
  4. Fershtman, Chaim & Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 927-40, December.
  5. Amir, Rabah & Stepanova, Anna, 2006. "Second-mover advantage and price leadership in Bertrand duopoly," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-20, April.
  6. Luca Lambertini, 1996. "Strategic Delegation and the Shape of Market Competition," Working Papers 267, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  7. van Damme, E.E.C. & Hurkens, J.P.M., 1996. "Endogenous Stackelberg Leadership," Discussion Paper 1996-115, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  8. Vives, Xavier, 1985. "On the efficiency of Bertrand and Cournot equilibria with product differentation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 166-175, June.
  9. Hiroaki Ino & Toshihiro Matsumura, 2012. "How Many Firms Should Be Leaders? Beneficial Concentration Revisited," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1323-1340, November.
  10. White, Mark D., 2001. "Managerial incentives and the decision to hire managers in markets with public and private firms," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 877-896, November.
  11. Huck, Steffen & Konrad, Kai A. & Muller, Wieland, 2001. "Big fish eat small fish: on merger in Stackelberg markets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 213-217, November.
  12. Boyer, M. & Moreaux, M., 1985. "On Stackelberg Equilibria with Differentiated Products: the Critical Role of the Strategy Space," Cahiers de recherche 8524, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  13. Lambertini, Luca & Trombetta, Marco, 2002. "Delegation and firms' ability to collude," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 359-373, April.
  14. Daughety, Andrew F, 1990. "Beneficial Concentration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1231-37, December.
  15. Barros, Fatima & Grilo, Isabel, 2002. "Delegation in a Vertically Differentiated Duopoly," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 70(1), pages 164-84, January.
  16. Gal-Or, Esther, 1985. "First Mover and Second Mover Advantages," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(3), pages 649-53, October.
  17. Basu, Kaushik, 1995. "Stackelberg equilibrium in oligopoly: An explanation based on managerial incentives," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 459-464, October.
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