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Private Monitoring and Communication in Cartels: Explaining Recent Collusive Practices

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  • Joseph E. Harrington
  • Andrzej Skrzypacz

Abstract

Motivated by recent cartel practices, a stable collusive agreement is characterized when firms' prices and quantities are private information. Conditions are derived whereby an equilibrium exists in which firms truthfully report their sales and then make transfers within the cartel based on these reports. The properties of this equilibrium fit well with the cartel agreements in a number of markets including citric acid, lysine, and vitamins. (JEL D43, D82, K21, L12, L61, L65)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.6.2425
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 (October)
Pages: 2425-49

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:6:p:2425-49

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References

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  1. William Fuchs, 2007. "Contracting with Repeated Moral Hazard and Private Evaluations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1432-1448, September.
  2. Ichiro Obara, 2005. "Folk Theorem with Communication," UCLA Economics Online Papers 366, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Green, Edward J. & Porter, Robert H., 1982. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Working Papers 367, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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  5. Michihiro Kandori & Hitoshi Matsushima, 1998. "Private Observation, Communication and Collusion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 627-652, May.
  6. Johannes Horner & Wojciech Olszewski, 2005. "The Folk Theorem for Games with Private, Almost-Perfect Monitoring," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 172782000000000006, www.najecon.org.
  7. Aoyagi, Masaki, 2002. "Collusion in Dynamic Bertrand Oligopoly with Correlated Private Signals and Communication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 229-248, January.
  8. Michihiro Kandori, 2001. "Introduction to Repeated Games with Private Monitoring," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-114, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  9. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," Working papers 99-17, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Mailath, George J. & Samuelson, Larry, 2006. "Repeated Games and Reputations: Long-Run Relationships," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195300796.
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  12. Zheng, Bingyong, 2008. "Approximate efficiency in repeated games with correlated private signals," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 406-416, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Fonseca, Miguel A. & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2012. "Explicit vs. tacit collusion: The impact of communication in oligopoly experiments," DICE Discussion Papers 65, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  2. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr. & Wei Zhao, 2010. "Signaling and Tacit Collusion in an Infinitely Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma," Economics Working Paper Archive 559, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  3. Yuichi Yamamoto, 2012. "Individual Learning and Cooperation in Noisy Repeated Games," PIER Working Paper Archive 12-044, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  4. Frieder Mokinski & Nikolas Wölfing, 2014. "The effect of regulatory scrutiny: Asymmetric cost pass-through in power wholesale and its end," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 175-193, April.
  5. Gärtner, D.L. & Zhou, J., 2012. "Delays in Leniency Application: Is There Really a Race to the Enforcer’s Door?," Discussion Paper 2012-044, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
  6. Harrington, Joseph E. & Zhao, Wei, 2012. "Signaling and tacit collusion in an infinitely repeated Prisoners’ Dilemma," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 277-289.
  7. Ricardo Andrés Guzmán & Rodrigo Harrison & Nureya Abarca & Mauricio G. Villena, 2013. "Reciprocity and Trust: Personality Psychology meets Behavioral Economics," Documentos de Trabajo 439, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  8. Yuichi Yamamoto, 2013. "Individual Learning and Cooperation in Noisy Repeated Games," PIER Working Paper Archive 13-038, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  9. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr. & Juan-Pablo Montero, 2013. "Cartel Sales Dynamics when Monitoring for Compliance is More Frequent than Punishment for Non-Compliance," Documentos de Trabajo 446, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  10. Yamamoto, Yuichi, 2012. "Characterizing belief-free review-strategy equilibrium payoffs under conditional independence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(5), pages 1998-2027.
  11. Catherine Roux & Christian Thöni, 2013. "Collusion Among Many Firms: The Disciplinary Power of Targeted Punishment," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 13.02, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  12. Tim Reuter, 2013. "Endogenous Cartel Organization and Antitrust Fine Discrimination," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2013-09, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  13. Salvatore Piccolo & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2014. "Debt, Managers and Cartels," CSEF Working Papers 365, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  14. Yuichi Yamamoto, 2012. "Characterizing Belief-Free Review-Strategy Equilibrium Payoffs under ConditionalIndependence," PIER Working Paper Archive 12-005, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.

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