The Dynamics of Bertrand Price Competition with Cost-Reducing Investments

Publikation: Working paperForskning

Standard

The Dynamics of Bertrand Price Competition with Cost-Reducing Investments. / Iskhakov, Fedor; Rust , John ; Schjerning, Bertel.

Kbh. : Økonomisk institut, Københavns Universitet, 2013.

Publikation: Working paperForskning

Harvard

Iskhakov, F, Rust , J & Schjerning, B 2013 'The Dynamics of Bertrand Price Competition with Cost-Reducing Investments' Økonomisk institut, Københavns Universitet, Kbh.

APA

Iskhakov, F., Rust , J., & Schjerning, B. (2013). The Dynamics of Bertrand Price Competition with Cost-Reducing Investments. Kbh.: Økonomisk institut, Københavns Universitet. University of Copenhagen. Institute of Economics. Discussion Papers (Online), Nr. 5, Bind. 13

Vancouver

Iskhakov F, Rust J, Schjerning B. The Dynamics of Bertrand Price Competition with Cost-Reducing Investments. Kbh.: Økonomisk institut, Københavns Universitet. 2013.

Author

Iskhakov, Fedor ; Rust , John ; Schjerning, Bertel. / The Dynamics of Bertrand Price Competition with Cost-Reducing Investments. Kbh. : Økonomisk institut, Københavns Universitet, 2013. (University of Copenhagen. Institute of Economics. Discussion Papers (Online); Nr. 5, Bind 13 ).

Bibtex

@techreport{b3c2aab4708f4bbcab32739469eb9276,
title = "The Dynamics of Bertrand Price Competition with Cost-Reducing Investments",
abstract = "We present a dynamic extension of the classic static model of Bertrand price competition that allows competing duopolists to undertake cost-reducing investments in an attempt to “leapfrog” their rival to attain low-cost leadership – at least temporarily. We show that leapfrogging occurs in equilibrium, resolving the Bertrand investment paradox., i.e. leapfrogging explains why firms have an ex ante incentive to undertake cost-reducing investments even though they realize that simultaneous investments to acquire the state of the art production technology would result in Bertrand price competition in the product market that drives their ex post profits to zero. Our analysis provides a new interpretation of “price wars”. Instead of constituting a punishment for a breakdown of tacit collusion, price wars are fully competitive outcomes that occur when one firm leapfrogs its rival to become the new low cost leader. We show that the equilibrium involves investment preemption only when the firms invest in a deterministically alternating fashion and technological progress is deterministic. We prove that when technological progress is deterministic and firms move in an alternating fashion, the game has a unique Markov perfect equilibrium. When technological progress is stochastic or if firms move simultaneously, equilibria are generally not unique. Unlike the static Bertrand model, the equilibria of the dynamic Bertrand model are generally inefficient. Instead of having too little investment in equilibrium, we show that duopoly investments generally exceed the socially optimum level. Yet, we show that when investment decisions are simultaneous there is a “monopoly” equilibrium when one firm makes all the investments, and this equilibrium is efficient. However, efficient non-monopoly equilibria also exist, demonstrating that it is possible for firms to achieve efficient dynamic coordination in their investments while their customers also benefit from technological progress in the form of lower prices",
keywords = "Faculty of Social Sciences, duopoly, Bertrand-Nash price competition, Bertrand paradox, Bertrand investment paradox, leapfrogging, cost-reducing investments, technological improvement,, dynamic models of competition, Markov-perfect equilibrium, tacit collusion, price wars, coordination and anti-coordination games, strategic preemption",
author = "Fedor Iskhakov and John Rust and Bertel Schjerning",
note = "JEL classification: D92, L11, L13",
year = "2013",
language = "English",
series = "University of Copenhagen. Institute of Economics. Discussion Papers (Online)",
number = "5",
publisher = "{\O}konomisk institut, K{\o}benhavns Universitet",
type = "WorkingPaper",
institution = "{\O}konomisk institut, K{\o}benhavns Universitet",

}

RIS

TY - UNPB

T1 - The Dynamics of Bertrand Price Competition with Cost-Reducing Investments

AU - Iskhakov, Fedor

AU - Rust , John

AU - Schjerning, Bertel

N1 - JEL classification: D92, L11, L13

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - We present a dynamic extension of the classic static model of Bertrand price competition that allows competing duopolists to undertake cost-reducing investments in an attempt to “leapfrog” their rival to attain low-cost leadership – at least temporarily. We show that leapfrogging occurs in equilibrium, resolving the Bertrand investment paradox., i.e. leapfrogging explains why firms have an ex ante incentive to undertake cost-reducing investments even though they realize that simultaneous investments to acquire the state of the art production technology would result in Bertrand price competition in the product market that drives their ex post profits to zero. Our analysis provides a new interpretation of “price wars”. Instead of constituting a punishment for a breakdown of tacit collusion, price wars are fully competitive outcomes that occur when one firm leapfrogs its rival to become the new low cost leader. We show that the equilibrium involves investment preemption only when the firms invest in a deterministically alternating fashion and technological progress is deterministic. We prove that when technological progress is deterministic and firms move in an alternating fashion, the game has a unique Markov perfect equilibrium. When technological progress is stochastic or if firms move simultaneously, equilibria are generally not unique. Unlike the static Bertrand model, the equilibria of the dynamic Bertrand model are generally inefficient. Instead of having too little investment in equilibrium, we show that duopoly investments generally exceed the socially optimum level. Yet, we show that when investment decisions are simultaneous there is a “monopoly” equilibrium when one firm makes all the investments, and this equilibrium is efficient. However, efficient non-monopoly equilibria also exist, demonstrating that it is possible for firms to achieve efficient dynamic coordination in their investments while their customers also benefit from technological progress in the form of lower prices

AB - We present a dynamic extension of the classic static model of Bertrand price competition that allows competing duopolists to undertake cost-reducing investments in an attempt to “leapfrog” their rival to attain low-cost leadership – at least temporarily. We show that leapfrogging occurs in equilibrium, resolving the Bertrand investment paradox., i.e. leapfrogging explains why firms have an ex ante incentive to undertake cost-reducing investments even though they realize that simultaneous investments to acquire the state of the art production technology would result in Bertrand price competition in the product market that drives their ex post profits to zero. Our analysis provides a new interpretation of “price wars”. Instead of constituting a punishment for a breakdown of tacit collusion, price wars are fully competitive outcomes that occur when one firm leapfrogs its rival to become the new low cost leader. We show that the equilibrium involves investment preemption only when the firms invest in a deterministically alternating fashion and technological progress is deterministic. We prove that when technological progress is deterministic and firms move in an alternating fashion, the game has a unique Markov perfect equilibrium. When technological progress is stochastic or if firms move simultaneously, equilibria are generally not unique. Unlike the static Bertrand model, the equilibria of the dynamic Bertrand model are generally inefficient. Instead of having too little investment in equilibrium, we show that duopoly investments generally exceed the socially optimum level. Yet, we show that when investment decisions are simultaneous there is a “monopoly” equilibrium when one firm makes all the investments, and this equilibrium is efficient. However, efficient non-monopoly equilibria also exist, demonstrating that it is possible for firms to achieve efficient dynamic coordination in their investments while their customers also benefit from technological progress in the form of lower prices

KW - Faculty of Social Sciences

KW - duopoly

KW - Bertrand-Nash price competition

KW - Bertrand paradox

KW - Bertrand investment paradox

KW - leapfrogging

KW - cost-reducing investments

KW - technological improvement,

KW - dynamic models of competition

KW - Markov-perfect equilibrium

KW - tacit collusion

KW - price wars

KW - coordination and anti-coordination games

KW - strategic preemption

M3 - Working paper

T3 - University of Copenhagen. Institute of Economics. Discussion Papers (Online)

BT - The Dynamics of Bertrand Price Competition with Cost-Reducing Investments

PB - Økonomisk institut, Københavns Universitet

CY - Kbh.

ER -

ID: 51177442