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2.1 There are three main suppliers of commercial jet engines, Pratt & Whitney, Gen-
eral Electric, and Rolls-Royce. All three maintain extensive support sta¤ at major (and
many minor) airports throughout the world. Why doesn’t one …rm service each airport?
Why do all three feel they need to provide service and support operations worldwide
themselves? Why don’t they subcontract this work? Why don’t they leave it entirely to
2.2 The Smart car was created as a joint venture between Daimler-Benz AG and
Swatch Group AG. Although Micro Compact Car AG (the name of the joint venture) was
originally jointly owned, in November of 1998 Daimler-Benz AG took complete control
by buying Swatch’s share.7 The deal put an end to a very stressed relationship between
Daimler and Swatch. What does Section 3.2 suggest as to what the sources of strain
3.1 A …rm sells one million units at a price of $100 each. The …rm’s marginal cost is
constant at $40, and its average cost (at the output level of one million units)
is $90. The …rm estimates that its elasticity of demand is constant at 2.0. Should the
…rm raise price, lower price, or leave price unchanged? Explain.
3.2 Sprint currently o¤ers long-distance telephone service to residential customers
at a price of 8c per minute. At this price, Sprint sells 200 million minutes of calling
per day. Sprint believe that its marginal cost per minute of calling is 5c. So, Sprint’s
residential long-distance telephone service business is contributing $6 million per day
Based on a statistical study of calling patterns, Sprint estimates that it faces a constant
elasticity of demand for long-distance calling by residential customers of 2.0.
(a) Based on this information, should Sprint raise, lower, or leave unchanged its
(b) How much additional contribution to overhead, if any, can Sprint obtain by
3.3 After spending 10 years and $1.5 billion, you have …nally gotten Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) approval to sell your new patented wonder drug, which
reduces the aches and pains associated with aging joints. You will market this drug
under the brand name of Ageless. Market research indicates that the elasticity of demand
for Ageless is 1.25 (at all points on the demand curve). You estimate the marginal cost
of manufacturing and selling one more dose of Ageless is $1.
(a) What is the pro…t-maximizing price per dose of Ageless?
(b) Would you expect the elasticity of demand you face for Ageless to rise or fall
3.4 The market for laundry detergent is monopolistically competitive. Each …rm owns
one brand, and each brand has e¤ectively di¤erentiated itself so that is has
some market power (i.e., faces a downward sloping demand curve). Still, no brand
earns economic pro…ts, because entry causes the demand for each brand to shift in
until the seller can just break even. All …rms have identical cost functions, which are
U-shaped. Suppose that the government does a study on detergents and …nds out they
all alike. The public is noti…ed of these …ndings and suddenly drops allegiance to any
brand. What happens to price when this product that was brand-di¤erentiated
becomes a commodity? What happens to total sales? What happens to the number
4.1 Which model (Cournot, Bertrand) would you think provides a better approxima-
tion to each of the following industries: oil re…ning, internet access, insurance. Why?
4.2 Two …rms, CS and LC, make identical goods, GPX units, and sell them in the
same market. The demand in the market is Q = 1200
it can produce up to its capacity each period with a marginal cost of M C = 0. Building a
unit of capacity costs 2400 (for either CS or LC) and a unit of capacity lasts four years.
The interest rate is zero. Once production occurs each period, the price in the market
adjusts to the level at which all production is sold. (In other words, these …rms engage
in quantity competition, not price competition.)
(a) If CS knew that LC were going to build 100 units of capacity, how much would
CS want to build? If CS knew that LC were going to build x units of capacity,
how much would CS want to build (that is, what is CS’s best response function in
(b) If CS and LC each had to decide how much capacity to build without knowing
the other’s capacity decision, what would the one-shot Nash equilibrium be in the
4.3 Consider a market for a homogeneous product with demand given by Q = 37:5
P=4. There are two …rms, each with constant marginal cost equal to 40.
(a) Determine output and price under a Cournot equilibrium.
(b) Compute the e¢ ciency loss as a percentage of the e¢ ciency loss under monopoly.
5.1 In a market with annual demand Q = 100
that make identical products. Because their products are identical, if one charges a lower
price than the other, all consumers will want to buy from the lower-priced …rm. If they
charge the same price, consumers are indi¤erent and end up splitting their purchases
about evenly between the …rms. Marginal cost is constant and there are no capacity
(a) What are the single-period Nash equilibrium prices, pA and pB?
(b) What prices would maximize the two …rms’joint pro…ts?
Assume that one …rm cannot observe the other’s price until after it has set its own
price for the year. Assume further that both …rms know that if one undercuts the other,
they will revert forever to the non-cooperative behavior you described in (a).
(c) If the interest rate is 10%, is one repeated-game Nash equilibrium for both …rms
to charge the price you found in part (b)? What if the interest rate is 110%? What
is the highest interest rate at which the joint pro…t-maximizing price is sustainable?
(d) Describe qualitatively how your answer to (d) would change if neither …rm was
certain that it would be able to detect changes in its rival’s price. In particular, what
if a price change is detected with a probability of 0.7 each period after it occurs?
Return to the situation in part (c), with an interest rate of 10%. But now suppose
that the market for this good is declining. The demand is Q = A
the current period, but the value of A is expected to decline by 10% each year (i.e., to 90
next year, then 81 the following year, etc.).
(e) Now is it a repeated-game Nash Equilibrium for both …rms to charge the
You compete against three major rivals in a market where the products are
only slightly di¤erentiated. The "Big Four" have historically controlled about 80% of
the market, with a fringe of smaller …rms accounting for the rest. Recently, prices have
been rather stable, but your market share has been eroding slowly, from 25% just a few
years ago to just over 15% now. You are considering adopting an aggressive discounting
Discuss how each of the following factors would enter into your decision.
(a) You have strong brand identity and attribute your declining share to discounting
(b) The Big Four have all been losing share gradually to the fringe, as the product
category becomes more well known and customers become more and more willing
to turn to smaller suppliers to meet their needs.
(c) Your believe your rivals are producing at close to their capacity, and capacity
(d) You can o¤er discounts selectively, in which case it will take one or two quarters
before your rivals are likely to …gure out that you have become more aggressive on
(e) Your industry involves high …xed costs and low marginal costs, as applies for
(f) The entire market is in rapid decline due to technological shifts unfavorable to
6.1 Supermarkets frequently issue coupons that entitle consumers to a discount in
selected products. Is this a promotional strategy, or simply a form of price discrimina-
tion? Empirical evidence suggests that paper towels are signi…cantly more expensive in
markets o¤ering coupons than in markets without coupons.25 Is this consistent with your
6.2 A market consists of two population segments, A and B. An individual in segment
p. An individual in segment B has demand for
2p. Segment A has 1000 people in it. Segment B has 1200 people
in it. Total cost of producing q units is C = 5000 + 20q.
(a) What is total market demand for your product?
(b) Assume that you must charge the same price to both segments. What is the
pro…t-maximizing price? What are your pro…ts?
(c) Imagine now that members of segment A all wear a scarlet "A" on their shirts or
blouses and that you can legally charge di¤erent prices to these people. What price do
you change to the scarlet "A" people? What price do you change to those without the
scarlet "A"? What are your pro…ts now?
6.3 Coca-Cola recently announced that it is developing a "smart" vending machine.
Such machines are able to change prices according to the outside temperature.
Suppose for the purposes of this problem that the temperature can be either "High"
or "Low." On days of "High" temperature, demand is given by Q = 280
is number of cans of Coke sold during the day and p is the price per can measured in
cents. On days of "Low" temperature, demand is only Q = 160
number days with "High" and "Low" temperature. The marginal cost of a can of Coke
(a) Suppose that Coca-Cola indeed installs a "smart" vending machine, and thus
is able to charge di¤erent prices for Coke on "Hot" and "Cold" days. What price
should Coca-Cola charge on a "Hot" day? What price should Coca-Cola charge on
(b) Alternatively, suppose that Coca-Cola continues to use its normal vending ma-
chines, which must be programmed with a …xed price, independent of the weather.
Assuming that Coca-Cola is risk neutral, what is the optimal price for a can of
(c) What are Coca-Cola’s pro…ts under constant and weather-variable prices? How
much would Coca-Cola be willing to pay to enable its vending machine to vary
prices with the weather, i.e., to have a "smart" vending machine?
6.4 Your software company has just completed the …rst version of Spoken-Word, a
voice-activated word processor. As marketing manager, you have to decide on the pricing
of the new software. You commissioned a study to determine the potential demand for
SpokenWord. From this study, you know that there are essentially two market segments of
equal size, professionals and students (one million each). Professionals would be willing to
pay up to $400 and students up to $100 for the full version of the software. A substantially
scaled-down version of the software would be worth $50 to consumers and worthless to
professionals. It is equally costly to sell any version. In fact, other than the initial
development costs, production costs are zero.
(a) What are the optimal prices for each version of the software?
Suppose that, instead of the scaled-down version, the …rm sells an intermediate version
that is valued at $200 by professionals and $75 by students.
(b) What are the optimal prices for each version of the software? Is the …rm better
o¤ by selling the intermediate version instead of the scaled-down version?
Suppose that professionals are willing to pay up to $800 (a = 0:5), and students up to
$100a, for a given version of the software, where a is the software’s degree of functionality:
a = 1 denotes a fully functional version, whereas a value a < 1 means that only 100a%
features of the software are functional. It is equally costly to produce any level of a. In
fact, other than the initial development costs, production costs are zero.
(c) How many versions of the software should the …rm sell? Which versions? What
7.1 Assume for the purposes of this problem that, contrary to their protestations,
Microsoft has a monopoly in providing operating systems, called "Windows," for personal
computers. Assume also that the marginal cost to Microsoft of supplying its operating
system for one more computer is zero. Denote by w the price charged by Microsoft for its
operating system. (Assume that Microsoft sets a single price per computer, i.e., does not
employ two-part tari¤s, quantity discounts, or other forms of price discrimination.)
Computer Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) assemble computers. Suppose
that the "bill of materials" for a computer, i.e., the cost to the OEM of all the parts
necessary to build a computer, adds up to $900 per machine, and that assembly costs
another $100 per machine. Finally, assume (contrary to the e¤orts of Dell and Compaq)
that computers are a homogeneous good and the annual demand for computers is given
10; 000p, where Q is quantity and p is price as usual.
Suppose that the OEM business is perfectly competitive.
(a) For any given price, w, of operating systems, what will be the price and sales of
(b)What price w should Microsoft set for its operating system? How much money
will Microsoft make? How much money will OEMs make? What will be the price
Amusing if irrelevant note: Microsoft in fact charges in the $50 to $60 range per PC
for Windows 98. Microsoft argued in their antitrust trial that they must not really have
a monopoly or else they would be charging a lot more.
(c) How much money would a vertically integrated …rm controlling both the supply
of Windows and the assembly of computers make? What price would such a …rm
(d) Could Microsoft make more money by integrating downstream into computer
Suppose now (de…nitely contrary to reality) that a single …rm, Compaq, has a monopoly
(e) For a given price, w, for Windows, what price, p, would Compaq set for com-
puters and how many computers would be sold?
(f) What price, w, should Microsoft set for its operating system? How much money
will Microsoft make? How much money will Compaq make? What will be the price
(g) Could Microsoft and Compaq make more money by merging? If so, how much?
Would such a merger bene…t or harm computer users? By how much?
7.2 The following industries are known to practice or have practiced resale price main-
tenance: fashion clothing, consumer electronics, …ne fragrances. In each case, indicate the
probable motivation for RPM and the likely welfare consequences.
7.3 Vermont Castings is a manufacturer of wood-burning stoves, a somewhat complex
product. One of Vermont Castings’s dealers once complained about the terms of the
relations between the manufacturer and dealers, stating that "the worst disappointment
is spending a great deal of time with a customer only to lose him to Applewood [a
competing retailer] because of price." Speci…cally, the dealer lamented "the loss of 3 sales
of V.C. stoves . . . to people whom we educated and spent long hours with."
How do you think this problem can be resolved? How would you defend your solution
in an antitrust/competition policy court?
8.1 A study on retail price for books and CDs …nds that price dispersion (weighted
by market shares) is lower for internet retailers than for conventional retailers. Discuss.
8.2 Two …rms are engaged in Bertrand competition. There are 10,000 people in the
population, each of whom is willing to pay at most 10 for at most one unit of the good.
Both …rms have a constant marginal cost of 5. Currently, each …rm is allocated half the
market. It costs a customer s to switch from one …rm to the other. Customers know
what prices are being charged. Law or custom restricts the …rms to charging whole-dollar
amounts (e.g., they can charge 6, but not 6.50).
(a) Suppose that s = 0. What are the Nash equilibria of this model? Why does
discrete (whole-dollar) pricing result in more equilibria than continuous pricing?
(b) Suppose that s = 2. What is (are) the Nash equilibrium (equilibria) of this
(c) Suppose that s = 4. What is (are) the Nash equilibrium (equilibria) of this
(d) Comparing the expected pro…ts in (b) to those in (c), what is the value of raising
8.3 Twenty …ve di¤erent stores sell the same product in a given area to a population
of two thousand consumers. Consumers are equally likely to …rst visit any of the twenty
…ve stores. Half of the consumers have no search costs and purchase at the lowest price.
The other half is willing to buy one unit of the product up to a maximum of $70 and
must incur a cost of $44 in order to …nd out about the prices charged by other stores.
Each store can sell up to 50 units and has a unit cost of $25.
(a) Show that, in equilibrium, there exist at most two di¤erent prices.
(b) Show that, if there exist two di¤erent equilibrium prices, then the higher price
(c) Show that the following is an equilibrium: 5 …rms set a price of 70 and the
remaining 20 …rms set a price of 45.
9.1 Which of the two cars, BMW series 5 and Nissan Sentra, would you expect to have
a greater price elasticity? Based on this, which car would you expect to have a greater
advertising to sales ratio? Is the empirical evidence consistent with this?
9.2 Your company sells expensive, branded fountain pens. Currently, there are 100,000
people aware of your pens. Each of these 100,000 people has his or her own willingness to
pay for your pens. These willingness-to-pay numbers are uniformly distributed between
$0 and $500. So, your demand curve is given byQ = 100000(1
cost per pen is $100. Well-versed in economics, you are pricing your pens at $300 each,
and selling 40,000 pens, generating a contribution of $8 million.
You have just become brand manager for these fountain pens. The previous brand
manager engaged in very little advertising, but you are considering running a major
promotional campaign to build your brand image and visibility. Your are considering
two possible advertising campaigns, call them "Build Value," "Expand Reach." (You will
either run one of these campaigns or none at all; you cannot run both.)
The "Build Value" campaign will not reach any new potential customers, but will
increase the willingness to pay of each of your current 100,000 existing customers by 25%.
This campaign costs $2.5 million to run.
The "Expand Reach" campaign will expand the set of potential customers by 25%,
from 100,000 to 125,000. The 25,000 new customers reached will have the same dis-
tribution of willingness-to-pay as the pre-existing 100,000 potential customers (namely,
uniformly distributed between $0 and $500). This campaign costs $1.8 million to run.
(a) If your choice were between running the "Build Value" campaign and running
no campaign at all, would you choose to run the "Build Value" campaign?
(b) If your choice were between running the "Expand Reach" campaign and running
no campaign at all, would you choose to run the "Expand Reach" campaign? Show
(c) What choice would you make in this situation: run the "Build Value" campaign,
run the "Expand Reach" campaign, or run neither?
10.1 LC Burgers is currently the sole fast-food chain in Linear city, a city that is one
mile long and consists of one street, with one thousand consumers distributed uniformly
along the street. The price for the BigLC, the only product sold by the LC Burger chain, is
set nationally at $4, so that the local Linear city manager’s decision is limited to choosing
the number and location of its stores.
Each store costs $600,000 to open and lasts inde…nitely. Each consumer buys one
burger per week at the current price of $4. However, no consumer will walk for more than
a quarter of a mile to buy a burger. Operating costs are $1 per burger. The interest rates
is 0.1% per week. The market conditions are unchanging, so present discounted pro…ts
can be regarded as level perpetuities.
(a) Suppose that LC Burgers faces no competition and no threat of entry. How
many stores should LC Burgers open, and at what locations?
CS Burgers is contemplating entering Linear city. CS Burgers’costs and price are the
same as those of LC Burgers. Moreover, consumers regard the products at both chains as
equally good, so, if both brands are in town, each consumers buys from the closest store.
(b) At what locations should CS Burgers open stores, given that LC Burgers has
opened the locations found to be optimal in part (a)?
(c) Recognizing the threat of entry by CS Burgers, at what locations should LC
(d) Would your analysis of these product-location decisions be a¤ected if you also
considered the possibility of pricing competition, i.e., if prices were then set inde-
pendently given the locations of the stores (rather than taking prices as …xed, as
(e) Moving beyond this particular model, does product positioning involve a …rst-
mover advantage, a second-move advantage, or does this depend upon particular
10.2 In less than one year after the deregulation of the German telecommunications
market at the start of 1998, domestic long-distance rates have fallen by more than 70%.
Deutsche Telekom, the former monopolist, accompanied some of these rate drops by
increases in monthly fees and local calls. MobilCom, one of the main competitors, fears
it may be unable to match the price reductions. Following the announcement of a price
reduction by Deutche Telekom at the end of 1998, shares of MobilCom fell by 7%. Two
other competitors, O.tel.o and Mannesmann Arcor, said they would match the price cuts.
VIAG Interkom, however, accused Telekom of "competition-distorting behavior," claiming
the company is exploiting its (still remaining) monopoly power in the local market to
subsidize its long-distance business.
Is this a case of predatory pricing? Present arguments in favor and against such
10.3 Consider a homogeneous product industry with inverse demand given by p =
2Q. Variable cost is given by C = 10q. There is currently one incumbent …rm and
one potential competitor. Entry into the industry implies a sunk cost of F .
(a) Determine the incumbent’s optimal output in the absence of potential competi-
(b) Suppose the entrant takes the incumbent’s output choice as given. Show that
the entrant’s equilibrium pro…t is decreasing in the incumbent’s output.
(c) What output should the incumbent …rm set in order to deter entry?
(d) Assuming that the incumbent …rm decides to deter entry, determine the Lerner
index as a function of F . Discuss the result.
(e) Determine the lowest value of E such that the incumbent …rm prefers to deter
11.1 Two …rms are engaged in Bertrand competition. There are 10,000 people in the
population, each of whom is willing to pay at most 10 for at most one unit of the good.
Currently, both …rms have a constant marginal cost of 5.
(a) What is the equilibrium in this market? What are the …rms’pro…ts?
(b) Suppose that one …rm can adopt a new technology that lowers its marginal cost
to 3. What is the equilibrium now? How much would this …rm be willing to pay for
(c) Suppose the new technology mentioned in (b) is available to both …rms. The
cost to a …rm of purchasing this technology is 10,000. The game is now played in two
stages. First, the …rms simultaneously decide whether to adopt the new technology
or not. Then, in the second stage, the …rms set prices simultaneously. Assume that
each …rm knows whether or not its rival acquired the new technology when choosing
its prices. What is (are) the Nash equilibrium (equilibria) of this game? (What does
your answer suggest about why …rms engage in patent races?)
11.2 In 1984, the U.S. Congress passed legislation that allowed generic-drug makers
to receive fast marketing approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Since
then, the market share of generic-drug companies has increased considerably (in volume).
Branded-drug companies have attempted di¤erent tactics to protect their market share.
In some cases, large pharmaceutical …rms have paid generic …rms to keep o¤ the market.
Ivax Corp. and Novartis AG, for example, have agreed not to market a generic competitor
to Abbott Laboratories’hypertension drug Hytrin. In exchange, Abott pays quarterly fees
Compare this example to the discussion on the persistence of monopoly power.
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