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Partial Information Sharing in Cournot Oligopoly

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  • Jos Jansen

Abstract

We study the incentives of Cournot oligopolists to acquire and disclose information on a common cost (or demand) parameter. Since information acquisition is such that firms may fail to acquire information, firms can credibly conceal unfavorable news while disclosing favorable news. This paper compares the incentives, profits and welfare under such a partial disclosure regime with the regimes where firms commit to share all or no information. We show that, for sufficiently low (high) information acquisition costs, a firm (antitrust authority) prefers voluntary disclosure to precommitment. Moreover, incentives and expected profits are often non-monotonic in the amount of information disclosed. ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Teilweise Offenlegung von Informationen im Cournot Oligopol) Wir untersuchen den Anreiz von Cournot-Oligopolisten, Informationen über einen gemeinsamen Kosten- (oder Nachfrage-) Parameter zu erlangen und diese offen zu legen. Da die Bemühungen der Firmen, Informationen zu erlangen, auch fehlschlagen können, können sie ungünstige Informationen glaubwürdig unterschlagen und günstige offen legen. In diesem Beitrag werden die Anreize für eine derartige teilweise Offenlegungsstrategie, sowie die resultierenden Gewinne und die soziale Wohlfahrt mit denen verglichen, die sich für die Festlegung auf völlige Offenlegung oder völlige Unterdrückung der Information ergeben. Wir zeigen, dass ein Unternehmen (die Wettbewerbsbehörde) freiwillige Offenlegung einer Festlegung auf entweder vollständige Offenlegung oder vollständige Unterdrückung vorzieht, wenn die Kosten der Informationsgewinnung genügend niedrig (hoch) sind. Außerdem sind die Anreize und die erwarteten Gewinne nicht monoton im Ausmaß der Offenlegung.

Suggested Citation

  • Jos Jansen, 2004. "Partial Information Sharing in Cournot Oligopoly," CIG Working Papers SP II 2004-01, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  • Handle: RePEc:wzb:wzebiv:spii2004-01
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    Keywords

    Cournot competition; information acquisition; information sharing; commitment; common value;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General

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