Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The classical notion of competition revisited

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Neri Salvadori and Rodolfo Signorino (University of Pisa and University of Palermo, respectively) write on The classical notion of competition revisited.

ABSTRACT: The paper seeks to fill a lacuna within Classical economics concerning the process of market price determination in a short-period equilibrium. To this aim, first we distinguish the Classical notion of free competition from the Walrasian notion of perfect competition and we argue that the latter is beset by some theoretical difficulties alien to the former. Second, we reconstruct in some detail Smith and Marx’s views concerning market price determination and we show that Marx’s extensive use of metaphors and numerical examples foreshadows the modern taxonomy of buyers’ market, sellers’ market and mixed strategy equilibrium in the capacity space of a standard Bertrand duopoly model. Finally, we highlight similarities and differences between the Classical notion of competition and contemporary game-theoretic oligopoly models.

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