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Bilateral oligopoly and quantity competition

  • Alex Dickson

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)

  • Roger Hartley

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Manchester)

Bilateral oligopoly is a strategic market game with two commodities, allowing strategic behavior on both sides of the market. When the number of buyers is large, such a game approximates a game of quantity competition played by sellers. We present examples which show that this is not typically a Cournot game. Rather, we introduce an alternative game of quantity competition (the market share game) and, appealing to results in the literature on contests, show that this yields the same equilibria as the many-buyer limit of bilateral oligopoly, under standard assumptions on costs and preferences. We also show that the market share and Cournot games have the same equilibria if and only if the price elasticity of the latter is one. These results lead to necessary and su¢ cient conditions for the Cournot game to be a good approximation to bilateral oligopoly with many buyers and to an ordering of total output when they are not satisfied.

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File URL: http://www.strath.ac.uk/media/departments/economics/researchdiscussionpapers/2009/09-22.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0922.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:str:wpaper:0922
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  1. Giraud, Gael, 2003. "Strategic market games: an introduction," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(5-6), pages 355-375, July.
  2. Novshek, William., 1984. "On the Existence of Cournot Equilibrium," Working Papers 517, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  3. Stein, William E, 2002. " Asymmetric Rent-Seeking with More Than Two Contestants," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(3-4), pages 325-36, December.
  4. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, June.
  5. David M. Kreps & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1983. "Quantity Precommitment and Bertrand Competition Yield Cournot Outcomes," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 326-337, Autumn.
  6. Szidarovszky, F & Yakowitz, S, 1977. "A New Proof of the Existence and Uniqueness of the Cournot Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(3), pages 787-89, October.
  7. Codognato, Giulio, 1995. "Cournot-Walras and Cournot Equilibria in Mixed Markets: A Comparison," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 361-70, March.
  8. Richard Cornes & Roger Hartley, 2002. "Asymmetric Contests with General Technologies," Keele Economics Research Papers KERP 2002/22, Centre for Economic Research, Keele University.
  9. Dickson, Alex & Hartley, Roger, 2008. "The strategic Marshallian cross," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 514-532, November.
  10. GABSZEWICZ, Jean & MICHEL, Philippe, 1992. "Oligopoly equilibria in exchange economies," CORE Discussion Papers 1992047, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. Jaskold Gabszewicz, Jean & Vial, Jean-Philippe, 1972. "Oligopoly "A la cournot" in a general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 381-400, June.
  12. Szidarovszky, Ferenc & Okuguchi, Koji, 1997. "On the Existence and Uniqueness of Pure Nash Equilibrium in Rent-Seeking Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 135-140, January.
  13. Busetto, Francesca & Codognato, Giulio & Ghosal, Sayantan, 2008. "Cournot-Walras Equilibrium as a Subgame Perfect Equilibrium," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 837, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  14. Shapley, Lloyd S & Shubik, Martin, 1977. "Trade Using One Commodity as a Means of Payment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(5), pages 937-68, October.
  15. R Cornes & R Hartley, 2005. "The Geometry of Aggregative Games," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0514, Economics, The University of Manchester.
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