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Conspiracies and Secret Discounts in Laboratory Markets

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  • Davis, Douglas D
  • Holt, Charles A

Abstract

This paper uses laboratory methods to evaluate whether price-fixing conspiracies break down in the presence of opportunities to offer secret discounts. The primary treatment difference is whether or not buyer-specific discounts from the posted list price are permitted. In standard posted-offer markets, conspiring sellers almost uniformly find and maintain near-monopoly prices. But when the possibility of offering secret discounts is introduced, sellers find sustaining collusive agreements much more difficult and transactions prices tend to fall toward competitive levels. Secret discounts yield competitive outcomes less consistently, however, when sellers are provided ex post information about sales quantities.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 108 (1998)
Issue (Month): 448 (May)
Pages: 736-56

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:108:y:1998:i:448:p:736-56

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Cited by:
  1. Nihashi, M. & Saijo, T. & Une, M., 2000. "The Outsider and Sunk Cost Effects on 'Dango' in Public Procurement Bidding: An Experimental Analysis," ISER Discussion Paper 0514, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  2. Adrian de Groot Ruiz & Theo Offerman & Sander Onderstal, 2011. "An Experimental Study of Credible Deviations and ACDC," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-153/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Fallucchi, Francesco & Renner, Elke & Sefton, Martin, 2013. "Information feedback and contest structure in rent-seeking games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 223-240.
  4. Christine Harbring, 2006. "The effect of communication in incentive systems-an experimental study," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(5), pages 333-353.
  5. Cason, Timothy N., 1995. "Cheap talk price signaling in laboratory markets," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 183-204, June.
  6. Cason, Timothy N. & Sheremeta, Roman M. & Zhang, Jingjing, 2012. "Communication and efficiency in competitive coordination games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 26-43.
  7. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr & Roberto Hernan-Gonzalez & Praveen Kujal, 2013. "The Relative Efficacy of Price Announcements and Express Communication for Collusion: Experimental Findings," Working Papers 13-30, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  8. Cason, Timothy N. & Friedman, Daniel & Milam, Garrett H., 2003. "Bargaining versus posted price competition in customer markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 223-251, February.
  9. John A. List, 2009. "The Economics of Open Air Markets," NBER Working Papers 15420, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bolotova, Yuliya & Connor, John M. & Miller, Douglas J., 2005. "The Impact of Collusion on Price Behavior: Empirical Results from Two Recent Cases," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19164, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  11. Kujal, Praveen, 1999. "Price ceilings and firm-specific quantity restrictions in posted-offer markets," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 389-406, December.
  12. Omar Al-Ubaydli & Peter Boettke, 2011. "Markets as Economizers of Information: Field Experimental Examination of the "Hayek Hypothesis"," Working Papers 1025, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
  13. Arthur Zillante, 2005. "Spaced Out Monopolies: Theory and Empirics of Alternating Product Releases," Industrial Organization 0505008, EconWPA.
  14. Muren, Astri & Pyddoke, Roger, 2006. "Collusion without communication," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 43-54, March.

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