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Learning-by-Doing, Organizational Forgetting, and Industry Dynanmics

  • David Besanko
  • Ulrich Doraszelski

We analyze a fully dynamic model of price competition when firms face a learning curve and the possibility of organizational forgetting. We show that even though the leader firm may underprice the follower and this price difference may grow as the leader's cost advantage widens, the market may remain unconcentrated in both the short run and long run. Over an interesting range of parameters, organizational forgetting intensifies pricing rivalry and leads to a greater degree of market concentration. By extending the model to include entry and exit, we show that predatory pricing can arise endogenously and that organizational forgetting makes predatory behavior more likely to occur. We develop these insights by employing the framework in Ericson & Pakes (1995) to numerically analyze the Markov perfect equilibria (MPE) in a pricing game in a differentiated products duopoly market. In contrast to recent papers that have employed this framework, we show that there can be multiple symmetric MPE.

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Paper provided by Society for Computational Economics in its series Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 with number 236.

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Date of creation: 11 Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:sce:scecf5:236
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  1. Steven Berry & Ariel Pakes, 2007. "The Pure Characteristics Demand Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1193-1225, November.
  2. Ariel Pakes & Paul McGuire, 1992. "Computing Markov Perfect Nash Equilibria: Numerical Implications of a Dynamic Differentiated Product Model," NBER Technical Working Papers 0119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Caplin, Andrew & Nalebuff, Barry, 1991. "Aggregation and Imperfect Competition: On the Existence of Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 25-59, January.
  4. Cabral, L. & Riordan, M., 1992. "The Learning Curve, Market Dominance and Predatory Pricing," Papers 39, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  5. Herings, P. Jean-Jacques & Peeters, Ronald J. A. P., 2004. "Stationary equilibria in stochastic games: structure, selection, and computation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 32-60, September.
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  7. Ackerberg, Daniel & Lanier Benkard, C. & Berry, Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 2007. "Econometric Tools for Analyzing Market Outcomes," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 63 Elsevier.
  8. C. Lanier Benkard, 2004. "A Dynamic Analysis of the Market for Wide-Bodied Commercial Aircraft," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71, pages 581-611, 07.
  9. Ulrich Doraszelski & Kenneth L. Judd, 2005. "Avoiding the Curse of Dimensionality in Dynamic Stochastic Games," NBER Technical Working Papers 0304, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Karl Schmedders & Ken Judd, 2005. "A Computational Approach to Proving Uniqueness in Dynamic Games," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 412, Society for Computational Economics.
  17. Ericson, Richard & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
  18. Rebecca Achee Thornton & Peter Thompson, 2001. "Learning from Experience and Learning from Others: An Exploration of Learning and Spillovers in Wartime Shipbuilding," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1350-1368, December.
  19. Budd, Christopher & Harris, Christopher & Vickers, John, 1993. "A Model of the Evolution of Duopoly: Does the Asymmetry between Firms Tend to Increase or Decrease?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 543-73, July.
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