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Can they beat the Cournot equilibrium? Learning with memory and convergence to equilibria in a Cournot oligopoly


  • Thomas Vallée

    (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - UN - Université de Nantes)

  • Murat Yildizoglu

    (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)


This article analyses the possibility of firms learning collusive solutions in a Cournot quantity game. Starting from the results of Vallée and Yildizoglu (2009) and of Alos-Ferrer (2004), we study the role of random experimenting, social learning (imitation), and (updated) memory in helping firms to discover more collusive market configurations than those of the Cournot equilibrium (CE). We show that long memory and its update is necessary to achieve such configurations.

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  • Thomas Vallée & Murat Yildizoglu, 2010. "Can they beat the Cournot equilibrium? Learning with memory and convergence to equilibria in a Cournot oligopoly," Working Papers hal-00526258, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00526258
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Apesteguia, Jose & Huck, Steffen & Oechssler, Jorg, 2007. "Imitation--theory and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 217-235, September.
    2. Theo Offerman & Jan Potters & Joep Sonnemans, 2002. "Imitation and Belief Learning in an Oligopoly Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 973-997.
    3. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 1999. "Learning in Cournot Oligopoly--An Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages 80-95, March.
    4. Hehenkamp, Burkhard & Possajennikov, Alex & Guse, Tobias, 2010. "On the equivalence of Nash and evolutionary equilibrium in finite populations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 254-258, February.
    5. Ania, Ana B., 2008. "Evolutionary stability and Nash equilibrium in finite populations, with an application to price competition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 472-488, March.
    6. Jasmina Arifovic & Michael Maschek, 2006. "Revisiting Individual Evolutionary Learning in the Cobweb Model – An Illustration of the Virtual Spite-Effect," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 333-354, November.
    7. Fernando Vega-Redondo, 1997. "The Evolution of Walrasian Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(2), pages 375-384, March.
    8. Alos-Ferrer, Carlos, 2004. "Cournot versus Walras in dynamic oligopolies with memory," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 193-217, February.
    9. James Bergin & Dan Bernhardt, 2004. "Comparative Learning Dynamics," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 431-465, May.
    10. Vriend, Nicolaas J., 2000. "An illustration of the essential difference between individual and social learning, and its consequences for computational analyses," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-19, January.
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    More about this item


    Cournot oligopoly; Learning; Evolution; Selection; Evolutionary stability; Nash Equilibrium; Collusion;

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