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Cartel formation and pricing: The effect of managerial decision-making rules

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  • Gillet, Joris
  • Schram, Arthur
  • Sonnemans, Joep

Abstract

We experimentally investigate how the managerial decision-making process affects choices in a Bertrand pricing game with an opportunity to form non-binding cartels. To do so we compare the effects of three decision-making rules for the firm (decisions by CEOs, majority rule and consensus) to each other and to decisions in a benchmark consisting of single-individual firms. It has been argued elsewhere that groups behave more competitively than individuals. In this setting this predicts that for all three decision-making rules we should observe fewer cartels and lower prices. This is not what we find. For the formation of cartels, there are no differences across treatments. For prices asked, we find that first, cartels lead to higher prices in all treatments, despite the fact that they are non-binding. Second, the decision-making rules strongly affect the prices asked. One thing that stands out is that firms run by CEOs ask higher prices (i.e., defect less often from the cartel) than observed in the other treatments.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 29 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 126-133

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:29:y:2011:i:1:p:126-133

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

Related research

Keywords: Managerial decision making Cartel Bertrand pricing Experiments;

References

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Cited by:
  1. Johannes Paha, 2013. "The Impact of Persistent Shocks and Concave Objective Functions on Collusive Behavior," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201328, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  2. Müller, Wieland & Tan, Fangfang, 2013. "Who acts more like a game theorist? Group and individual play in a sequential market game and the effect of the time horizon," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 658-674.

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