Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Social power as a solution to the Bertrand Paradox

Soeiro, Renato and Adrego Pinto, Alberto (2019): Social power as a solution to the Bertrand Paradox.

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We show that in a duopoly with homogeneous consumers, if these are negatively influenceable by each other behavior (e.g. congestion/ snob/ Veblen/ network effects), a pure price equilibrium with positive profits for both firms exists. Furthermore, even in the case products are undifferentiated, an equilibrium where firms charge different (positive) prices and have different profits exists. Thus, when firms engage in uniform price competition, heterogeneity, and in particular non-atomicity in the distribution of preferences, is neither a necessary condition to ensure existence, nor to achieve asymmetries. We further show that in the case products are differentiated, social differentiation overcomes the effect of standard differentiation in creating price asymmetries.

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