Investor's wiki

Cournot Competition

Cournot Competition

What Is Cournot Competition?

Cournot competition is an economic model portraying an industry structure in which rival companies offering an indistinguishable product contend on the amount of output they produce, autonomously and simultaneously. It is named after its pioneer, French mathematician Augustin Cournot.

Grasping Cournot Competition

Companies operating in markets with limited competition, called oligopolies, frequently contend by seeking to take market share away from one another. One method for doing this is to change the number of goods sold.

As per the law of supply and demand, higher output drives down prices, while lower output raises them. Therefore, companies must consider how much quantity a contender is probably going to churn out to have a better chance of expanding profits.

In short, efforts to augment profit depend on contenders' decisions and each firm's output decision is assumed to influence the product price. The possibility that one firm responds to what it accepts a rival will deliver forms part of the perfect competition theory.

The Cournot model is applicable when companies produce indistinguishable or standardized goods. It expects they can't intrigue or form a cartel, have a similar perspective on market demand, and are know about contender operating costs.

History of Cournot Competition

French mathematician Augustin Cournot framed his theory of perfect competition and modern originations of monopoly in 1838 in his book, Researches Into the Mathematical Principles of the Theory of Wealth. The Cournot model was propelled by examining competition in a spring water duopoly.


A monopoly is one firm, duopoly is two firms, and oligopoly is at least two firms operating in a similar market.

The Cournot model remaining parts the standard for oligopolistic competition, in spite of the fact that it can likewise be extended to incorporate various firms. Cournot's thoughts were adopted and promoted by the Swiss economist Leon Walras, considered by a lot of people to be the organizer behind modern mathematical economics.

Benefits of Cournot Competition

The Cournot model enjoys a few huge benefits. The model produces coherent outcomes, with prices and amounts that are between monopolistic (for example low output, high price) and competitive (high output, low price) levels. It likewise yields a stable Nash equilibrium, an outcome from which neither one of the players might want to singularly veer off.

Limitations of Cournot Competition

A portion of the model's suspicions might be fairly unrealistic in reality. First and foremost, the Cournot classic duopoly model expects that the two players set their quantity strategy autonomously of one another. This is probably not going to be the case from a viable perspective. At the point when just two producers are in a market, they are probably going to be highly receptive to one another's strategies as opposed to operating in a vacuum.

Besides, Cournot contends that a duopoly could form a cartel and procure higher profits by conspiring. In any case, game theory shows that a cartel arrangement wouldn't be in that frame of mind) since each company would will generally digress from the agreed output — for proof, one need look no farther than The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Thirdly, the model's faultfinders question how frequently oligopolies contend on quantity as opposed to price. French scientist J. Bertrand in 1883 endeavored to correct this oversight by changing the strategic variable decision from quantity to price. The suitability of price, as opposed to quantity, as the fundamental variable in oligopoly models was confirmed in subsequent research by a number of economists.

At long last, the Cournot model expects product homogeneity with no separating factors. Cournot developed his model in the wake of noticing competition in a spring water duopoly. Ironicly even in a product as essential as packaged mineral water, one would be unable to find homogeneity in the products offered by various providers.


  • The model applies when firms produce indistinguishable or standardized goods and it is assumed they can't plot or form a cartel.
  • Cournot competition is an economic model where contending firms pick a quantity to create freely and all the while.
  • The possibility that one firm responds to what it accepts a rival will create forms part of the perfect competition theory.