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Comparative statics in Cournot free entry equilibrium

By Luis C. Corchon and Isabel Fradera


In this paper we study the effects of a change in an exogenous variable (the fixed cost or a parameter in the demand function) on the output and the number of active firms in a Symmetric Cournot Equilibrium with Free Entry (SCEFE). The results obtained here are different from those obtained in the Cournot model with a given number of firms. In particular, an increase in demand might yield a decrease in the output of the industry. We also show that any observation on prices, profits and number of firms is compatible with the assumption that the market is in a SCEFE. If fixed costs can be observed, there is a loose relationship between the profit rate and the number of active firms. This result is used as a warning against the use of the profit rate as a measure of an anticompetitive position and against the Structure–Conduct–Performance paradigm. Keywords: Entry; Comparative statics; Rate of profits; Anti-trust polic

Topics: JEL classification, L13
Year: 2011
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