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Collusion through price ceilings? In search of a focal-point effect

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  • Engelmann, Dirk
  • Müller, Wieland

Abstract

Abstract We resume the search for a collusive focal-point effect of price ceilings in laboratory markets. We argue that market conditions in previous studies were unfavorable for collusion which may have been responsible for not finding such a focal-point effect. Our design aims at maximizing the likelihood of a focal-point effect. Nevertheless, our results again fail to support the focal-point hypothesis. Collusion is as unlikely in markets with a price ceiling as in markets with unconstrained pricing. Overall, static Nash equilibrium predicts the data fairly accurately. We argue this might warrant re-interpretation of field studies on anti-competitive effects of price ceilings.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 79 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 291-302

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:79:y:2011:i:3:p:291-302

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

Related research

Keywords: Collusion Competition policy Experimental economics Focal point;

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  8. Borck, Rainald & Engelmann, Dirk & Müller, Wieland & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2000. "Tax liability side equivalence in experimental posted-offer markets," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2000,8, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  9. Rosario Gomez & Jacob K. Goeree & Charles A. Holt, 1999. "Predatory Pricing: Rare Like a Unicorn?," Virginia Economics Online Papers 339, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  10. Coursey, Don L & Smith, Vernon L, 1983. "Price Controls in a Posted Offer Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 218-21, March.
  11. Isaac, R Mark & Smith, Vernon L, 1985. "In Search of Predatory Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 320-45, April.
  12. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, January.
  13. Jin Li & Charles R. Plott, 2009. "Tacit Collusion In Auctions And Conditions For Its Facilitation And Prevention: Equilibrium Selection In Laboratory Experimental Markets," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(3), pages 425-448, 07.
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