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Impossibility of Collusion under Imperfect Monitoring with Flexible Production

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  • Yuliy Sannikov
  • Andrzej Skrzypacz

Abstract

We show that it is impossible to achieve collusion in a duopoly when (a) goods are homogenous and firms compete in quantities; (b) new, noisy information arrives continuously, without sudden events; and (c) firms are able to respond to new information quickly. The result holds even if we allow for asymmetric equilibria or monetary transfers. The intuition is that the flexibility to respond quickly to new information unravels any collusive scheme. Our result applies to both a simple stationary model and a more complicated one, with prices following a mean-reverting Markov process, as well as to models of dynamic cooperation in many other settings. (JEL D43, L12, L13)

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 97 (2007)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1794-1823

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:97:y:2007:i:5:p:1794-1823

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.5.1794
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  1. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell & Chris Sanchirico, 2002. "Collusion and price rigidity," Discussion Papers 0102-38, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  2. Andreas Blume & Paul Heidhues, 2008. "Modeling Tacit Collusion in Auctions," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 164(1), pages 163-184, March.
  3. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David I & Maskin, Eric, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 997-1039, September.
  4. Joseph E. Harrington Jr. & Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2007. "Collusion under monitoring of sales," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(2), pages 314-331, 06.
  5. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," Working papers 99-17, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Green, Edward J & Porter, Robert H, 1984. "Noncooperative Collusion under Imperfect Price Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 87-100, January.
  7. Dilip Abreu & Paul Milgrom & David Pearce, 1997. "Information and timing in repeated partnerships," Levine's Working Paper Archive 636, David K. Levine.
  8. Hay, George A & Kelley, Daniel, 1974. "An Empirical Survey of Price Fixing Conspiracies," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 13-38, April.
  9. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1986. "Optimal cartel equilibria with imperfect monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 251-269, June.
  10. David A. Miller, 2012. "Robust Collusion with Private Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 778-811.
  11. Skrzypacz, Andrzej & Hopenhayn, Hugo, 2004. "Tacit collusion in repeated auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 114(1), pages 153-169, January.
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