Business Intelligence

Cournot Competition Under Yield Uncertainty: The Case Of The U.S. Influenza Vaccine Market

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Executive Summary

This paper is inspired by the recurring mismatch between demand and supply in the U.S. influenza vaccine market. Economic theory predicts that an oligopolistic market with unregulated but costly entry will experience excess entry and oversupply, not the undersupply observed in the market for influenza vaccine in recent years. In this paper, author examines the interaction between yield uncertainty, a key characteristic of many production processes, including that for influenza vaccine, and firms' strategic behavior. Authors find that yield uncertainty can contribute to a high degree of concentration in an industry and a reduction in the industry output and the expected consumer surplus in equilibrium. They use parameter values loosely based on the U.S. influenza vaccine market to numerically illustrate the impact of yield uncertainty.

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