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Analysis of the Statement whether the Present Day Spanish Banking Industry Resembles an Oligopolistic Structure

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The overall view of the literature review based on the research method would be a view usually taken in phenomenology. Phenomenology is a science which focuses on describing particular phenomena as the lived experience. The method gives us a description of that experience as it is (Merleau-Ponty, 1962). Herbert Spiegelberg (1975) defined phenomenology as the procedure with the main aims of direct investigation and description of phenomena as experienced. Phenomenology has been described both as a philosophy and a method at the same time (Spiegelberg, 1975; Merleau-Ponty, 1962). Phenomenology is considered a more appropriate design in the present context as it would help address (describe and explore) the phenomena of the evolution of the market structure of the Spanish banking industry across time and under several influences-positive or negative.

This evolution of the market structure was viewed as a phenomenon. Oligopoly is a market structure in which a few sellers dominate the market and the equilibrium price determination is dependent on the level of cooperation or conflict between the sellers. Conflict versus cooperation is reflected in quoting prices. Due to the interdependence of the two sellers, it becomes very important for each firm to decide strategically whether to quote a low or a high price.

In Bertrand, oligopoly strategy reduces to simultaneously setting prices in the hope that the competition does not change its set price. Such conflicting or non-cooperating pricing strategies are increasingly being dealt with the constructs in Game Theory which not only introduced the idea that conflict could be mathematically analyzed but also provided the terminology with which to do it. Rasmussen (2001) traces the beginning of the theoretical development in field by quoting the relevant literature and by stating that the evolution of the arguments around the “ Prisoner’ s Dilemma” construct (as in Tucker) and thereafter Nash’ s papers on the definition and existence of equilibrium further developed the field of the modern non-cooperative game theory.    

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