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The market for melons: Cournot competition with unobservable qualities

  • Argenton, Cédric


    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

Two firms produce different qualities at possibly different, constant marginal costs. They compete in quantities on a market where buyers only observe the average quality supplied. The model is a generalization of the standard Cournot duopoly, which corresponds to the special case where the two qualities are equal. When the quality differential is large, the firms' output levels are not always strategic substitutes. There can be no, or up to three pure-strategy equilibria. Yet, as long as the cost differential is not extreme, there always exists a stable duopolistic equilibrium. In that sense, strategic quantity-setting helps prevent market unraveling.

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Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 617.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: 30 Dec 2005
Date of revision: 18 Jan 2006
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0617
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  1. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, June.
  2. Nirvikar Singh & Xavier Vives, 1984. "Price and Quantity Competition in a Differentiated Duopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 546-554, Winter.
  3. 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.
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