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EPRC is a leading institute in Europe for comparative research on public policy, with a particular focus on regional development policies. Spanning 30 European countries, EPRC research programmes have a strong emphasis on applied research and knowledge exchange, including the provision of policy advice to EU institutions and national and sub-national government authorities throughout Europe.

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Bilateral oligopoly and quantity competition

Dickson, Alex and Hartley, Roger (2013) Bilateral oligopoly and quantity competition. Economic Theory, 52 (3). pp. 979-1004. ISSN 0938-2259

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Abstract

Bilateral oligopoly is a market game with two commodities, allowing strategic behavior on both sides of the market. When the number of buyers is large, bilateral oligopoly 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, and investigate the differences in equilibria otherwise. These results lead to necessary and sufficient 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.