I review previous approaches to modelling oligopoly in general equilibrium, and propose a new view which in principle overcomes their deficiencies: modelling firms as large in their own market but small in the economy as a whole. Implementing this approach requires a tractable specification of preferences. Dixit-Stiglitz preferences (which imply iso-elastic perceived demand functions) could be used, but "continuum-quadratic" preferences (which imply linear perceived demand functions) are more convenient. To illustrate their usefulness, I construct a simple closed-economy model of oligopoly in general equilibrium and derive some surprising implications for competition policy.
Published in R. Arnott, B. Greenwald, R. Kanbur and B. Nalebuff (eds.): Economics for an Imperfect World: Essays in Honor of Joseph E. Stiglitz, MIT Press, 2003.
JEL Codes: D50, L13, L40
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