Secret Information Acquisition in Cournot Markets

Esther Hauk and Sjaak Hurkens

Abstract: Two-stage game models of information acquisition in stochastic oligopolies require the assumption that firms observe the precision of information chosen by their competitors before determining quantities. This paper analyzes secret information acquisition as a one-stage game. Relative to the two-stage game firms are shown to acquire less information. Policy implications based on the two-stage game yield, therefore, too high taxes or too low subsidies for research activities. For the case of heterogeneous duopoly we briefly discuss comparative statics results.

Keywords: Information acquisition, oligopoly, uncertainty, Bayesian equilibrium..

Classification Numbers: C72, D43, D82.

Economic Theory (2001)