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Market making oligopoly

  • Simon Loertscher

This paper analyzes price competition between market makers who set costly capacity constraints before they intermediate between producers and consumers. The key finding is that the unique perfect equilibrium outcome is Cournot if capacity is costly and rationing efficient. This result is interesting for two main reasons: It generalizes Kreps and Scheinkman (1983) to an arbitrary number of market makers, and it contrasts with Stahl (1988) and the broader literature on market making, such as Gehrig (1993), Fingleton (1997) and Rust and Hall (2003), where due to the absence of capacity constraints on the input market the Bertrand paradox typically prevails.

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Paper provided by Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft in its series Diskussionsschriften with number dp0512.

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Date of creation: Mar 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ube:dpvwib:dp0512
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  1. Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, I: Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 1-26.
  2. Sam Peltzman, 2000. "Prices Rise Faster than They Fall," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 466-502, June.
  3. Boccard, Nicolas & Wauthy, Xavier, 2000. "Bertrand competition and Cournot outcomes: further results," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 279-285, September.
  4. John Rust & George Hall, 2002. "Middlemen versus Market Makers: A Theory of Competitive Exchange," NBER Working Papers 8883, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Richard E. Levitan & Martin Shubik, 1970. "Price Duopoly and Capacity Constraints," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 287, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. Mark Armstrong, 2006. "Competition in two‐sided markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 668-691, 09.
  7. Gehrig, Thomas, 1993. "Intermediation in Search Markets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(1), pages 97-120, Spring.
  8. Raymond Deneckere & Dan Kovenock, 1988. "Price Leadership," Discussion Papers 773, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. repec:rus:hseeco:72158 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Fingleton, John, 1997. "Competition among Middlemen When Buyers and Sellers Can Trade Directly," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 405-27, December.
  11. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1984. "The Fat-Cat Effect, the Puppy-Dog Ploy, and the Lean and Hungry Look," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 361-66, May.
  12. Daniel F. Spulber, 1996. "Market Making by Price-Setting Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 559-580.
  13. Glenn Ellison & Drew Fudenberg, 2003. "Knife Edge of Plateau: When Do Market Models Tip?," NBER Working Papers 9528, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Yanelle, Marie-Odile, 1989. "The strategic analysis of intermediation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(2-3), pages 294-301, March.
  15. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2003:i:30:p:1-8 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Caillaud, Bernard & Jullien, Bruno, 2001. "Competing cybermediaries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 797-808, May.
  17. Stahl, Dale O, II, 1988. "Bertrand Competition for Inputs and Walrasian Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 189-201, March.
  18. Dan Kovenock & Raymond J. Deneckere, 1996. "Bertrand-Edgeworth duopoly with unit cost asymmetry (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 8(1), pages 1-25.
  19. Boccard, Nicolas & Wauthy, Xavier, 2004. "Bertrand competition and Cournot outcomes: a correction," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 163-166, August.
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