The long run outcomes and global dynamics of a duopoly game with misspecified demand functions

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Game Theory Review, 2004, 6 (3), pp. 343 - 379
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In this paper we study a model of a quantity-setting duopoly market where firms lack knowledge of the market demand. Using a misspecified demand function firms determine their profit-maximizing choices of their corresponding perceived market game. For illustrative purposes we assume that the (true) demand function is linear and that the reaction functions of the players are quadratic. We then investigate the global dynamics of this game and characterize the number of steady states and their welfare properties. We study the basins of attraction of these steady states and present situations in which global bifurcations of their basins occur when model parameters are varied. The economic significance of our result is to show that in situations where players choose their actions based on a misspecified model of the environment, additional self-confirming steady states may emerge, despite the fact that the Nash-equilibrium of the game under perfect knowledge is unique. As a consequence the long run outcome of the game and overall welfare is highly dependent upon initial conditions.
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