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Relative Profitability of Dynamic Walrasian Strategies

  • HUANG Weihong

    (Division of Economics,School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
    Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

The advantage of price-taking behavior in achieving relative profitability in oligopolistic quantity competition has been much appreciated recently from economic dynamics and evolutionary game theory, respectively. The current research intends to provide a direct economic interpretation as well as intuitive justification and further to build a linkage between different perspectives. In particular, a detailed illustration of an arbitrary oligopoly that produce a homogenous product is presented. So long as the outputs of other firms are fixed and the residual demand is downward sloping, for any two identical firms whose cost functions are convex, their output space can be divided symmetrically into mutually exclusive relatively profitability regimes. Furthermore, there exist infinitely many relative-profitability reactions for each firm in such “residual” duopoly, all of which intersect at the “residual” Walrasian equilibrium. This suggests that sticking to this dynamical equilibrium output constantly (i.e., the static Walrasian strategy) turns out to be a relative-profitability strategy at each period. On the other hand, regardless of what strategies its rival may take, a firm adopting price-taking strategy or more generally defined dynamic Walrasian strategies can achieve the relative profitability if an intertemporal equilibrium is reached. The methodology adopted and the conclusions arrived clarify the confusions and misunderstandings due to the different usages of same terminologies under different frameworks and generalize the previous available results in the literature to a higher level and a broader context.

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File URL: http://www.ntu.edu.sg/hss2/egc/wp/2009/2009-03.pdf
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Paper provided by Nanyang Technological University, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Economic Growth Centre in its series Economic Growth Centre Working Paper Series with number 0903.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nan:wpaper:0903
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Web page: http://egc.hss.ntu.edu.sg/
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  1. Schaffer, Mark E., 1989. "Are profit-maximisers the best survivors? : A Darwinian model of economic natural selection," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 29-45, August.
  2. Carlos Alós-Ferrer & Ana Ania, 2005. "The evolutionary stability of perfectly competitive behavior," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 497-516, October.
  3. Fernando Vega Redondo, 1996. "The evolution of walrasian behavior," Working Papers. Serie AD 1996-05, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  4. Rhode, Paul & Stegeman, Mark, 2001. "Non-Nash equilibria of Darwinian dynamics with applications to duopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 415-453, March.
  5. Huang, Weihong, 2008. "The long-run benefits of chaos to oligopolistic firms," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1332-1355, April.
  6. Fershtman, Chaim & Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 927-40, December.
  7. Armen A. Alchian, 1950. "Uncertainty, Evolution, and Economic Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 211.
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