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Inflexibility as a Stabilisation Device

Listed author(s):
  • Nobuo Akai

    (School of Business Administration, University of Hyogo and CIRJE)

  • Dan Sasaki

    (Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo)

A possible rationale for institutional conservatism, i.e., reluctance to adjust actions in accordance with external environmental changes, may be found in the payoff stabilisation effect it strategically affords. Suppose, for example, that one of the duopolists is capable of adjusting its action, either price or quantity, in response to unexpected demand fluctuations. Then the other duopolist, if incapable of such adjustments, recuperates some of the meager opportunities when the shock is negative whilst forgoing lucrative profit opportunities when the demand shock is positive, thereby "smoothes" its profits across varying states of demand in exchange for a small loss in expected profits, as opposed to when being as adjustable as its competitor. Similar qualitative results hold true both in Cournot and in Bertrand, and by extension, in a larger class of situations where economic decision makers interact through either strategic substitution or strategic complementarity.

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Paper provided by CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo in its series CIRJE F-Series with number CIRJE-F-332.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2005
Handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:2005cf332
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