A general equilibrium model for industries with price and service competition


Journal Article

This paper develops a stochastic general equilibrium inventory model for an oligopoly, in which all inventory constraint parameters are endogenously determined. We propose several systems of demand processes whose distributions are functions of all retailers' prices and all retailers' service levels. We proceed with the investigation of the equilibrium behavior of infinite-horizon models for industries facing this type of generalized competition, under demand uncertainty. We systematically consider the following three competition scenarios. (1) Price competition only: Here, we assume that the firms' service levels are exogenously chosen, but characterize how the price and inventory strategy equilibrium vary with the chosen service levels. (2) Simultaneous price and service-level competition: Here, each of the firms simultaneously chooses a service level and a combined price and inventory strategy. (3) Two-stage competition: The firms make their competitive choices sequentially. In a first stage, all firms simultaneously choose a service level; in a second stage, the firms simultaneously choose a combined pricing and inventory strategy with full knowledge of the service levels selected by all competitors. We show that in all of the above settings a Nash equilibrium of infinite-horizon stationary strategies exists and that it is of a simple structure, provided a Nash equilibrium exists in a so-called reduced game. We pay particular attention to the question of whether a firm can choose its service level on the basis of its own (input) characteristics (i.e., its cost parameters and demand function) only. We also investigate under which of the demand models a firm, under simultaneous competition, responds to a change in the exogenously specified characteristics of the various competitors by either: (i) adjusting its service level and price in the same direction, thereby compensating for price increases (decreases) by offering improved (inferior) service, or (ii) adjusting them in opposite directions, thereby simultaneously offering better or worse prices and service.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bernstein, F; Federgruen, A

Published Date

  • November 1, 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 52 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 868 - 886

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0030-364X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1287/opre.1040.0149

Citation Source

  • Scopus