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Quantity Competition in the Presence of Strategic Consumers

Bazhanov, Andrei and Levin, Yuri and Nediak, Mikhail (2015): Quantity Competition in the Presence of Strategic Consumers.

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Oligopolistic retailers decide on the initial inventories of an undifferentiated limited-lifetime product offered to strategic consumers. A manufacturer sets the first-period (full) price, while the second-period (clearance) price is determined by a market clearing process. The resulting symmetric pure-strategy equilibria may lead to no sales in the first or second period (Cournot outcome versus collusion), and sales in both periods with the clearance price above or at the salvage value. The equilibria possess a comprehensive set of monotonic properties. In particular, increasing strategic behavior can benefit retailers and hurt consumers, increasing competition may harm the local economy, and high levels of strategic behavior may insure against oversupply that leads to clearance sales at the salvage value. The welfare-optimal number of retailers can lead to the above-cost clearance price.

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