We introduce price-markup objectives into a model of supply function competition. We characterize the corresponding supply-function equilibrium and study its qualitative properties. Adherence to price-markup targets is conducive to reduced market competition and increased firm profitability. While pursuing such goals reduces social welfare, welfare never drops below the level corresponding to a Cournot oligopoly. Finally, we establish conditions under which consumer preference for fair pricing inhibits the industry’s use of markups as a collusive device.
Taking firms’ margin targets seriously in a model of competition in supply functions
31 January 2022