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Oligopoly - The Kinked Demand Curve

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Students should be able to:
Understand the characteristics of this market structure with particular reference to the interdependence of firms
Explain the behaviour of firms in this market structure
Explain reasons for collusive and non-collusive behaviour
Evaluate the reasons why firms may wish to pursue both overt and tacit collusion

Publicado en: Economía y finanzas
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Oligopoly - The Kinked Demand Curve

  1. 1. Economics of Oligopoly Topic 3.3.9
  2. 2. Economics of Oligopoly Topic 3.3.9 Students should be able to: • Understand the characteristics of this market structure with particular reference to the interdependence of firms • Explain the behaviour of firms in this market structure • Explain reasons for collusive and non-collusive behaviour • Evaluate the reasons why firms may wish to pursue both overt and tacit collusion
  3. 3. Key Concepts – Oligopoly Cartel Association of businesses or countries that collude to influence production levels and thus the market price Collusion Takes place when rival companies cooperate for their mutual benefit Kinked demand curve Assumes that a business face a dual demand curve for its product based on the likely reactions of other firms Price leadership When one firm has a dominant position and firms with lower market shares follow the price changes of the leader Prisoners’ dilemma Problem in game theory that demonstrates why two people might not cooperate even if in their best interests
  4. 4. Basics of an Oligopoly • An oligopoly is an imperfectly competitive industry where there is a high level of market concentration. • Oligopoly is best defined by the actual conduct (or behaviour) of firms within a market • The concentration ratio measures the extent to which a market or industry is dominated by a few leading firms. • A rule of thumb is that an oligopoly exists when the top five firms in the market account for more than 60% of total market sales.
  5. 5. Oligopoly in Action! UK Petrol Market 16.5% 14.4% 13.2% 10.9% 10.3% 10% 6.8% 5.8% 3.8% 2.3% 2.2% 1.5% 0.8% 0.7% 0.4% 0.0% 2.0% 4.0% 6.0% 8.0% 10.0% 12.0% 14.0% 16.0% 18.0% Tesco BP Shell Esso Sainsbury's Morrisons Asda Texaco Certas Energy Murco Jet Unbranded Minor brands Harvest Energy Maxol Market share, per cent
  6. 6. Oligopoly in Action! UK Cinema Market 25.5% 23.9% 22.2% 5.8% 3.8% 18.7% 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% 30.0% Cineworld Odeon Vue National Amusements Empire Cinemas Others Cinema market share in 2013 (per cent) Exhibitor
  7. 7. Global market share of the world's largest automakers in 2013 12.3% 12% 11.9% 9.3% 8.4% 7.8% 6.3% 5.3% 4.4% 3.2% 3.4% 2.8% 2.4% 2.4% 8% 0.0% 2.0% 4.0% 6.0% 8.0% 10.0% 12.0% 14.0% Toyota General Motors Volkswagen Hyundai-Kia Renault-Nissan Ford SAIC Motor Fiat-Chrysler Honda Suzuki Peugeot Daimler BMW Chang Other Market share SAIC Motor Corporation Limited is a Chinese state- owned automotive manufacturing company headquartered in Shanghai, China Shares of the Global Car Industry in 2013
  8. 8. Market share of mobile handset manufacturers in the UK in June 2014 31.8% 22.9% 16.9% 6.7% 6.1% 3.7% 2.4% 2.1% 7.4% 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% 30.0% 35.0% Samsung Apple Nokia Sony HTC RIM Motorola LG Other MarketshareA Contestable Oligopoly
  9. 9. Revenue of dominant sports betting companies 2.5 2.18 1.82 1.07 0.74 0.73 0.48 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 William Hill bet365 Ladbrokes Paddy Power bwin betfair Unibet Revenue in billion U.S. dollars in 2014
  10. 10. Characteristics of an Oligopoly Best defined by the actual behaviour of firms A market dominated by a few large firms High market concentration ratio Each firm supplies branded products Barriers to entry and exit Interdependent strategic decisions by firms
  11. 11. Meaning of Strategic Interdependence • Strategic interdependence means that one firm’s output and price decisions are influenced by the likely behaviour of competitors • Because there are few sellers, each firm is likely to be aware of the actions of the others. • Decisions of one firm influence, and are influenced by, the decisions of other firms • This causes oligopolistic industries to be at high risk of tacit or explicit collusion which can lead to allegations of anti-competitive behaviour • In oligopoly there is a high level of uncertainty
  12. 12. The Kinked Demand Curve • A business in an oligopoly faces a downward sloping demand curve but the price elasticity of demand may depend on the likely reaction of rivals to changes in one firm’s price and output • (a) Rivals are assumed not to follow a price increase by one firm, so the acting firm will lose market share - therefore demand will be relatively elastic and a rise in price will lead to less revenue • (b) Rivals are assumed to be likely to match a price fall by one firm to avoid a loss of market share. If this happens demand will be more inelastic and a fall in price will also lead to a fall in total revenue
  13. 13. The Kinked Demand Curve - Analysis Price and Cost Output AR1 P1 AR2 • Theory starts with assumption that firms are settled on a price P1 and quantity Q1 • At price D1 the demand curve is elastic above P1 and it is demand inelastic below P1 Q1
  14. 14. Kinked Demand Curve – Raising Price Price and Cost Output AR1 P1 AR2 • Raising price above P1: Likely reaction of other firms is to hold their prices • This will cause an elastic demand response for this firm • Results in lost sales and falling total revenue Q1 P2 Q2
  15. 15. Kinked Demand Curve – Cutting Price Price and Cost Output AR1 P1 AR2 • Cutting price below P1 – the likely reaction of other firms is to follow the price reduction. Demand likely to be relatively inelastic – little benefit in terms of extra sales and total revenue Q1 P2 Q2 P3 Q1
  16. 16. Kinked Demand Curve – The Kink! Price and Cost Output AR1 P1 AR2 • If demand is relatively elastic following a price rise and relatively inelastic after a price fall – we create a kink in the oligopolists demand curve (AR) Q1 P2 Q2 P3 Q1
  17. 17. Kinked Demand Curve – The MR Curve Price and Cost Output AR1 • The marginal revenue curve is always twice as steep as average revenue • There will be two marginal revenues curves if AR is kinked • We find a vertical intersection – at quantity Q1 the two curves do not actually intersect MR1
  18. 18. Kinked Demand Curve – Equilibrium? Price and Cost Output AR1 • Is there a profit maximising equilibrium in this market? In the diagram here MC1 cuts through the gap in the marginal revenue curve MR1 MC1 Kinked demand curve model assumes: Other firms will follow if prices are cut Firms will not follow if prices rise
  19. 19. Kinked Demand Curve – Price Rigidity Price and Cost Output AR1 • One of the key predictions of the kinked demand curve model is that prices will be rigid or “sticky” even when there is a change in the marginal costs of supply (this is assuming that firms in the market are profit seeking) MR1
  20. 20. Kinked Demand Curve – Price Rigidity Price and Cost Output AR1 • One of the key predictions of the model is that prices will be “sticky” even when there is a change in the marginal costs of supply (assuming that firms are profit seeking) MR1 MC1 MC2 Kinked demand curve model assumes: Other firms will follow if prices are cut Firms will not follow if prices rise
  21. 21. Kinked Demand Curve – Overview On oligopoly firms have price-setting power but may be reluctant to use it Rivals unlikely to match a price rise and rivals likely to match a price fall If a firm is settled on one price, there may e little point in changing it Even if costs change we often see price rigidity / stability in an oligopoly This increases the importance attached to non-price competition
  22. 22. Examples of Non-Price Competition Innovation Quality of service including after-sales Free Upgrades to Products Exclusivity / Loyalty Schemes Branding Sales Promotions
  23. 23. UK advertisers ranked by spending 264.34 177.26 149.79 119.1 116.27 97.04 92.55 88.36 81.52 75.68 74.59 72.15 68.98 63.59 63.15 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd Procter & Gamble Ltd Bt Ltd Unilever UK Ltd Tesco Plc Asda Stores Ltd Talktalk Grp Virgin Media William Morrison Supermarkets Plc Dfs Furniture Co Ltd Vodafone Ltd McDonalds Restrs Ltd Reckitt Benckiser (UK) Ltd Loreal Paris Nestle Expenditure in million £ in 2013
  24. 24. Real World Examples of Price Wars Low cost airlines Supermarket petrol Mobile phone tariffs Price wars and impact on suppliers Supermarket price war squeezes small supplier profit margins by a third A report published in November 2015 found that small suppliers with an annual turnover below £25m lack the negotiating power of big rivals and as a result, their profit margins have fallen in one year from 3.5% to 2.1%. By contrast, at the biggest food companies, whose turnover tops £1bn, margins increased from 5.2% to 5.4% last year
  25. 25. Who Wins and Loses from Price Wars? Winners •Regular consumers •Managers – higher sales Losers •Shareholders - lower profits •Suppliers – may get squeezed Price wars may lead to short run increases in sales and revenues, but may not be in the long-term commercial interests of a business
  26. 26. Long Term Tendency towards Oligopoly • Large minimum efficient scale (high ratio of fixed to variable costs of production) Economies of scale • Consolidation of industries through acquisitions e.g. horizontal integration between suppliers Mergers and takeovers • High rates of profits and barriers to entry & exit Rise of dominant brands
  27. 27. Economics of Oligopoly Topic 3.3.9

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