The nature of uncertainty in an oligopoly market

Outline the nature of uncertainness in an oligopoly market in which houses set end product degrees. How do different theoretical accounts analyse this uncertainness and does a trust eliminate it?

In economic sciences, an oligopoly is considered to be the most interesting and complex market construction ( amongst other constructions like monopolies and perfect competition ) . An oligopoly is ‘a market construction in which merely a few Sellerss offer similar or indistinguishable merchandises and rule the market.’ ( Mankiw and Taylor, 2011 ) . Although this choice of houses dominate, it is possible that many little houses may besides run in the market.

The concentration ratio, which measures the proportion of entire market portion held by a figure of houses is a cardinal feature of an oligopoly market. The market portion held by the dominant Sellerss in the industry is normally far superior to that of the smaller rivals ensuing in a market with a high concentration ratio. There are a figure of instances of oligopoly markets in the modern universe such as Visa and MasterCard in recognition cards every bit good as Android and Apple Io in the operating systems for smartphones and tablets.

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To keep their place of laterality, oligopolies might implement a certain pricing scheme such as marauding pricing or merely get a possible growth house which they believe could be a menace. Besides, since these houses are already established in the market, they could be harvesting the benefits of economic systems of graduated table as it likely that they would buy stock in big measures.

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These are merely some of the barriers to entry that a new house might meet upon come ining an industry in an oligopoly market, cut downing uncertainnesss environing with respects to new entrants to the market.

Firms within an oligopoly market are doubtless mutualist as their overall degree of success will depend on how other houses within the industry are making. There exists a tenseness between the houses of cooperation and opportunism as a consequence of being the biggest participants in the lone market for those goods. ‘When a house observes a signal of low demand and reveals it to others, it reduces the likeliness that its rivals “overproduce.” However, when it observes a signal of high demand and reveals it to others, it reduces the likeliness that its rivals “underproduce.” While the first consequence raises the net incomes of the house, the 2nd reduces them.’ ( Gal-Or, 1985 ) . Due to this strategic uncertainness involved when doing end product determinations, houses must expect the likely response of a rival to any given alteration in their end product, or their non-output activity.

‘The net incomes of all houses are affected by the end product pick of any single house through the reverse demand function.’ ( Murto, Nasakkala and Keppo, 2004 ) . An reverse demand map for any market ( with P being monetary value and Q being measure ) is defined as: P = P ( Q ) =P(QA+QBacillus)

The derived function of this being: ( dp/dQA) = ( vitamin DP/dQa) + ( vitamin DP/dQBacillus) ( vitamin DQBacillus/dQA)

‘Especially, when the divinatory fluctuation of the participant is 0, the divinatory fluctuation has got a Cournot theoretical account consequence ; when the divinatory fluctuation of the participant is ?1, the divinatory fluctuation has got a competition ( Bertrand ) consequence ; when the divinatory fluctuation of the participant is 1, the divinatory fluctuation has got a corporate collusion result.’ ( Yu and Yu, 2014 ) . Analyzing the end product determinations that oligopolies face, leaves us with the Cournot and Stackelberg theoretical accounts of oligopoly markets. An illustration of an oligopoly neutering end product is OPEC ; the aggregation of Middle Eastern states who generated 2/5s of the world’s oil supply, limited supply in the mid 1970’s and in bend the monetary value of oil increased.

In the Cournot theoretical account, vitamin DQBacillus/dQA= 0, as it is assumed that houses ignore their mutuality. Firm A chooses to maximize profitis ( where C is the houses costs ) :?A=P(QA) –CAand believes that end product will non alter from a degree ( ie. Zero divinatory fluctuation ) . Firm B decides likewise:?Bacillus=P(QBacillus) –CB.Their reaction maps meet at the Cournot-Nash equilibrium which is highlighted by the point in which both firms’ isoprofit lines intersect.

Cournot Model

The Cournot theoretical account makes a figure of premises such as the fact that houses can non conspire or organize a trust, and that they seek to maximise profit.The theoretical account produces just consequences, with monetary values and measures that are between monopolistic and competitory degrees. Neither house would divert from the Cournot-Nash equilibrium one-sidedly. However, there are some drawbacks based on the premises made as they can be judged to be slightly unrealistic in the existent universe. First, the Cournot duopoly theoretical account assumes that both houses set their measure methods irrespective of the other firm’s method. In a practical sense, this is unrealistic as all houses react to rivals. Two major houses in an industry like Samsung and Apple are likely to be extremely antiphonal to each other’s schemes on pricing their smartphones, instead than operating in a vacuity. Besides, it is slightly dubious how frequently houses in an oligopoly compete on degrees of end product instead than on monetary value.

This can besides use to the Stackelberg theoretical account. ‘If merely one house chooses to play Cournot while the other dramas consistent divinatory fluctuations, the consequence is the von Stackelberg result with positive net incomes for both players.’ ( Daughety, 1985 ) . In the Stackelberg theoretical account, a follower house makes the Cournot speculation. The leader takes those speculations into history before make up one’s minding on its end product schemes. The Stackelberg equilibrium is determined utilizing backwards initiation ( first find the follower firm’s best response to an arbitrary end product degree by the Stackelberg house ) ; this degree is portrayed as qB’ if house A were to be the leader.

Stackelberg Model

Another cardinal characteristic of oligopolistic markets is that houses may try to conspire, instead than vie. When houses collude, they seek to cut down uncertainness ; they act like a monopoly and can bask the benefits of higher net incomes for the industry as a whole. ‘The monopoly theoretical account is relevant to any state of affairs where the houses in an industry collude in the scene of measure and monetary value. However, in the presence of such collusion, the inquiry still remains as to how the cartel’s monopoly net incomes are divided among take parting firms.’ ( Estrin, Laidler and Dietrich, 2012 ) . The trust could extinguish in the sense that houses don’t need to do speculations about the other firm’s end product degree, but it besides brings different elements of uncertainness.

First, it is illegal in most states to conspire. Administrations such as the Competition Commission have been introduced to forestall conniving behavior by look intoing amalgamations, markets and other issues related to regulated industries under competition jurisprudence in the United Kingdom. The consumer is the 1 who loses out from a trust as monetary values is much higher, and end product tends to be lower. Production degrees in a trust are less than in the Stackelberg and Cournot theoretical account. The hazard involved in running a trust and non being disciplined by the governments raises a whole new pool of uncertainnesss when penalty may affect remotion of trading licenses. In the Cournot theoretical account, there is an apparent inducement to conspire in order to harvest higher net incomes than those gained from viing against each other. Game theory shows that a trust understanding would non be in equilibrium, since each company would be given to divert from the agreed end product, supplementing logistical uncertainnesss upon theend product degree on which each house would bring forth.

G ame theory and the construct of the Prisoner’s Dilemma reenforce the impression of mutuality. Within the trust, houses would bring forth on the contract curve, to which terminal of the contract curve would depend on each houses production capacities and production costs. Although, an understanding can be made where one house is favoured ( eg. North West within the collusion country favours house B ) and this would so affect side payments to guarantee that both houses are better off. The wagess are divided between the houses harmonizing to the corresponding firm’s dickering power.

A house must measure whether to vie sharply or passively with their challengers. Competing sharply means they attempt to derive the larger portion of the market compared to the other houses by underselling the monetary value or bring forthing a higher end product. However if both houses act passively, restricting end product and puting higher monetary values, this will ensue in higher net incomes. Like in the captives dilemma each house will cognize that its rival as much of an inducement to rip off and undersell them. Hence the houses can non swear each other as there will ever be the possibility that one of the houses will take down their monetary values to prehend the bulk of the market portion despite the result of co-operation being more desirable. Successful collusion will finally depend on the balance between the benefits of cheating and the possible penalties that can be enforced on a cheating house.

Besides, adding to the uncertainnesss in a trust is the fact that there would be an component of client trueness with both houses every bit good as the houses holding a different proportion of market portion compared to its possible trust spouse. The nature in which the understanding is made will besides act upon how earnestly a house takes its ain promises as such an understanding can non be widely or publically documented to the illegalities involved. It is besides possible for disagreements to originate when demand for that good alterations ; the understanding must be amended in order to include the excess or deficit with many instances ensuing in the trust discontinuing to be.

It is justifiable to claim that operating within a trust carries the same sum of uncertainnesss as those associated with operating in an oligopoly market. However, the nature of uncertainnesss may differ from an oligopoly market to a trust in the ensuing monopoly market one time collusion commences. The overall consequence of the formation of trust is extinguishing some types of uncertainnesss, but triping a whole other pool of uncertainties. The Cournot theoretical account possibly carries a lesser figure of uncertainnesss to the Stackelberg theoretical account as there aren’t any speculations being made. Despite this, it is slightly unrealistic and non a common head set in the existent universe as all houses will respond. To reason, the outlook belief of the houses within an oligopoly market plays an of import function in the oligopoly theoretical account.



Authers, J. ( 2014 ) .MasterCard and Visa’s priceless concern theoretical account – [ on-line ] Financial Times. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // # axzz3KDZuUrm5 [ Accessed 26 Nov. 2014 ] .

Daughety, A. ( 1985 ) . Reconsidering Cournot: The Cournot Equilibrium is Consistent. The RAND Journal of Economics, 16 ( 3 ) , p.368.

Estrin, S. , Laidler, D. and Dietrich, M. ( 2012 ) . Microeconomics. 6th erectile dysfunction. Harlean carpenter: Pearson Education, p.334.

Gal-Or, E. ( 1985 ) . Information Sharing in Oligopoly. Econometrica, 53 ( 2 ) , p.329.

Kerton, D. ( 2011 ) . Analyst Angle: Get set for stronger OS oligopoly – RCR Wireless News. [ on-line ] RCR Wireless News. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Accessed 26 Nov. 2014 ] .

Mankiw, G. and Taylor, M. ( 2011 ) .Economicss. 2nd erectile dysfunction. Andover: Cengage Learning EMEA, p.356.

Murto, P. , Nasakkala , E. and Keppo, J. ( 2004 ) . Timing of investings in oligopoly under uncertainness: A model for numerical analysis. European Journal of Operational Research, 157 ( 2 ) , pp.486-500.

Swider, M. ( 2014 ) . Apple, Samsung smartphones musculus out the competition in US. [ on-line ] TechRadar. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Accessed 27 Nov. 2014 ] .

Yu, W. and Yu, Y. ( 2014 ) . A dynamic duopoly theoretical account with bounded reason based on changeless divinatory fluctuation. Economic Modelling, 37, pp.103-112.


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The nature of uncertainty in an oligopoly market. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

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