Price-taking Strategy Versus Dynamic Programming in Oligopoly
In a quantity-competed duopoly, one firm is a naive price-taker (who responses only to the last period’s price) while the other has all the market information so as be able to optimize its profit stream (either discounted or un-discounted) dynamically over a finite or infinite horizon. With a traditional linear economy, we are able to derive algebraically the optimal policies of all periods for the dynamic optimizer. A counter-intuitive phenomenon is then observed: regardless of the planning horizon and the discounted factor, there exists a relative profitability range of initial prices, starting with which the price-taker make higher profit than the dynamic optimizer. Furthermore, with the increase in the planning horizon, the price-taker’s relative profitability range increases accordingly and finally covers the entire economically meaningful range.
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