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Incomplete Information in Cournot Oligopoly: The Case of Unknown Production Capacities


  • Richter, Jan

    () (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln)


A Cournot oligopoly in which firms face incomplete information with respect to production capacities is studied. For the case where the firms’ capacities are stochastically independent, the functional form of equilibrium strategies is derived. If inverse demand is concave, a unique symmetric equilibrium exists, and if demand is linear, then every equilibrium is symmetric. In the case of duopoly, the impact on social welfare when firms commit ex-ante on exchanging information is analyzed. Sharing information increases expected output and social welfare in a large class of models. If the demand intercept is sufficiently large, sharing information increases producer surplus and decreases consumer surplus (and vice versa).

Suggested Citation

  • Richter, Jan, 2013. "Incomplete Information in Cournot Oligopoly: The Case of Unknown Production Capacities," EWI Working Papers 2013-1, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln (EWI).
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:ewikln:2013_001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Einy, Ezra & Moreno, Diego & Shitovitz, Benyamin, 2002. "Information Advantage in Cournot Oligopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 151-160, September.
    2. Vives, Xavier, 1984. "Duopoly information equilibrium: Cournot and bertrand," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 71-94, October.
    3. Einy, Ezra & Haimanko, Ori & Moreno, Diego & Shitovitz, Benyamin, 2010. "On the existence of Bayesian Cournot equilibrium," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 77-94, January.
    4. Raith, Michael, 1996. "A General Model of Information Sharing in Oligopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 260-288, October.
    5. John C Harsanyi, 1997. "Games with incomplete information played by "bayesian" players," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1175, David K. Levine.
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    Cited by:

    1. Richter, Jan & Viehmann, Johannes, 2014. "The value of information in explicit cross-border capacity auction regimes in electricity markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 74-84.

    More about this item


    Oligopoly; Incomplete Information; Cournot; Capacity Constraints; Information Sharing;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • 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

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