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How to compete? Cournot vs. Bertrand in a vertical structure with an integrated input supplier

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  • Luciano Fanti
  • Marcella Scrimitore

Abstract

We study whether a quantity or a price contract is chosen at equilibrium by one integrated firm and its retail competitor in a differentiated duopoly. Using a similar vertical structure, Arya et al. (2008) showed that Bertrand competition is more profitable than Cournot competition, which contrasts with conventional wisdom. In this paper, we first demonstrate that such a result is robust to the endogenous determination of the type of contract. Second, by introducing managerial incentives in the model, we find that delegation to managers entails conflicting choices of the strategic variable by the two firms as long as products are sufficiently differentiated, causing non-existence of equilibrium in pure strategies. Significantly high product substitutability reconciles firms' objectives under delegation, leading unique or multiple equilibria with symmetric types of contracts to arise.

Suggested Citation

  • Luciano Fanti & Marcella Scrimitore, 2017. "How to compete? Cournot vs. Bertrand in a vertical structure with an integrated input supplier," Discussion Papers 2017/221, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:pie:dsedps:2017/221
    Note: ISSN 2039-1854
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    File URL: https://www.ec.unipi.it/documents/Ricerca/papers/2017-221.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Upstream monopolist; outsourcing; price competition; quantity competition; managerial delegation.;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm

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