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Tacit Collusion under Fairness and Reciprocity

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  • Doruk İriş

    (Sogang University, School of Economics, 35 Baekbeom-ro, Seoul, South Korea)

  • Luís Santos-Pinto

    ()
    (University of Lausanne, Faculty of Business and Economics, Internef, 535 CH-1015, Lausanne, Switzerland)

Abstract

This paper departs from the standard profit-maximizing model of firm behavior by assuming that firms are motivated in part by personal animosity–or respect–towards their competitors. A reciprocal firm responds to unkind behavior of rivals with unkind actions (negative reciprocity), while at the same time, it responds to kind behavior of rivals with kind actions (positive reciprocity). We find that collusion is easier to sustain when firms have a concern for reciprocity towards competing firms provided that they consider collusive prices to be kind and punishment prices to be unkind. Thus, reciprocity concerns among firms can have adverse welfare consequences for consumers.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Games.

Volume (Year): 4 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 50-65

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Handle: RePEc:gam:jgames:v:4:y:2013:i:1:p:50-65:d:23527

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Related research

Keywords: fairness; reciprocity; collusion; repeated games;

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References

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  1. Huck, Steffen & Muller, Wieland & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2001. "Stackelberg Beats Cournot: On Collusion and Efficiency in Experimental Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 749-65, October.
  2. Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 457, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Geanakoplos, John & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1989. "Psychological games and sequential rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 60-79, March.
  4. Malueg, D.A., 1990. "Collusive Behavior And Partial Ownership Of Rivals," Papers 90-9, U.S. Department of Justice - Antitrust Division.
  5. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
  6. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  7. Abreu, Dilip, 1988. "On the Theory of Infinitely Repeated Games with Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 383-96, March.
  8. Friedman, James W, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(113), pages 1-12, January.
  9. Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Fairness in Repeated Games," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0nz5b4mb, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  10. William Neilson, 2006. "Axiomatic reference-dependence in behavior toward others and toward risk," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 681-692, 08.
  11. Nabil Al-Najjar & Sandeep Baliga & David Besanko, 2008. "Market forces meet behavioral biases: cost misallocation and irrational pricing," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(1), pages 214-237.
  12. Christoph Engel, 2006. "How Much Collusion. A Meta-Analysis On Oligopoly Experiments," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2006_27, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  13. Margin Dufwenberg & Georg Kirchsteiger, 2001. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000090, David K. Levine.
  14. Segal, Uzi & Sobel, Joel, 1999. "Tit for Tat: Foundations of Preferences for Reciprocity in Strategic Settings," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt9xf8836g, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  15. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "Rationalizability, Learning, and Equilibrium in Games with Strategic Complementarities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1255-77, November.
  16. John Geanakoplos & David Pearce & Ennio Stacchetti, 2010. "Psychological Games and Sequential Rationality," Levine's Working Paper Archive 587, David K. Levine.
  17. Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
  18. Santos-Pinto, Luís, 2006. "Reciprocity, inequity-aversion, and oligopolistic competition," MPRA Paper 3143, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 14 Apr 2007.
  19. David Gilo & Yossi Moshe & Yossi Spiegel, 2006. "Partial cross ownership and tacit collusion," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(1), pages 81-99, 03.
  20. Switgard Feuerstein, 2005. "Collusion in Industrial Economics—A Survey," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 163-198, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mark Armstrong & Steffen Huck, 2010. "Behavioral Economics as Applied to Firms: A Primer," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 6.
  2. Ferdinand von Siemens, 2011. "Intention-Based Reciprocity and the Hidden Costs of Control," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-115/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Ferdinand von Siemens, 2011. "Intention-Based Reciprocity and the Hidden Costs of Control," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-115/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  4. Ferdinand von Siemens, 2011. "Intention-Based Reciprocity and the Hidden Costs of Control," CESifo Working Paper Series 3553, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. von Siemens, Ferdinand A., 2013. "Intention-based reciprocity and the hidden costs of control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 55-65.
  6. 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.

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