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Collusion in Growing and Shrinking Markets: Empirical Evidence from Experimental Duopolies

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  • Klaus Abbink

    ()

  • Jordi Brandts

    ()

Abstract

We study collusive behaviour in experimental duopolies that compete in prices under dynamic demand conditions. In one treatment the demand grows at a constant rate. In the other treatment the demand declines at another constant rate. The rates are chosen so that the evolution of the demand in one case is just the reverse in time than the one for the other case. We use a box-design demand function so that there are no issues of finding and co-ordinating on the collusive price. Contrary to game-theoretic reasoning, our results show that collusion is significantly larger when the demand shrinks than when it grows. We conjecture that the prospect of rapidly declining profit opportunities exerts a disciplining effect on firms that facilitates collusion and discourages deviation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) in its series UFAE and IAE Working Papers with number 648.05.

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Length: 20
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:648.05

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Keywords: Laboratory experiments; industrial organisation; oligopoly; price competition; collusion;

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  1. Dufwenberg, Martin & Gneezy, Uri, 2000. "Price competition and market concentration: an experimental study," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 7-22, January.
  2. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 2004. "Two are few and four are many: number effects in experimental oligopolies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 435-446, April.
  3. Smith, Vernon L, 1982. "Markets as Economizers of Information: Experimental Examination of the "Hayek Hypothesis"," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(2), pages 165-79, April.
  4. José Apesteguía & Martin Dufwenberg & Reinhard Selten, 2003. "Blowing the Whistle," Documentos de Trabajo - Lan Gaiak Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra 0303, Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra, revised 2003.
  5. Abbink, Klaus & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 1995. "RatImage - research Assistance Toolbox for Computer-Aided Human Behavior Experiments," Discussion Paper Serie B 325, University of Bonn, Germany.
  6. Robert Moir, 1998. "A Monte Carlo Analysis of the Fisher Randomization Technique: Reviving Randomization for Experimental Economists," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 87-100, June.
  7. Abbink, Klaus & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 1997. "RatImage 3.30," Discussion Paper Serie B 417, University of Bonn, Germany.
  8. Holt, Charles A & Langan, Loren W & Villamil, Anne P, 1986. "Market Power in Oral Double Auctions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(1), pages 107-23, January.
  9. Dastidar, Krishnendu Ghosh, 1995. "On the Existence of Pure Strategy Bertrand Equilibrium," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 19-32, January.
  10. Reinhard Selten & Jose Apesteguia, 2002. "Experimentally Observed Imitation and Cooperation in Price Competition on the Circle," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse19_2002, University of Bonn, Germany.
  11. Reynolds, Stanley S & Isaac, R Mark, 1992. "Stochastic Innovation and Product Market Organization," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 525-45, October.
  12. Isaac, R. Mark & Reynolds, Stanley S., 1992. "Schumpeterian competition in experimental markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 59-100, January.
  13. Dufwenberg, Martin & Gneezy, Uri & Goeree, Jacob K. & Nagel, Rosemarie, 2002. "Price Floors and Competition," Research Papers in Economics 2002:13, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  14. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521816632 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Offerman, Theo & Potters, Jan & Sonnemans, Joep, 2002. "Imitation and Belief Learning in an Oligopoly Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(4), pages 973-97, October.
  16. Abbink, Klaus & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 1996. "RatDemo - A Ready-to-Run Experiment in 99 Program Lines," Discussion Paper Serie B 354, University of Bonn, Germany.
  17. Abbink, Klaus & Brandts, Jordi, 2008. "24. Pricing in Bertrand competition with increasing marginal costs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 1-31, May.
  18. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 1999. "Learning in Cournot Oligopoly--An Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages C80-95, March.
  19. Motta,Massimo, 2004. "Competition Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521016919.
  20. Ivaldi, Marc & Jullien, Bruno & Rey, Patrick & Seabright, Paul & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "The Economics of Tacit Collusion," IDEI Working Papers 186, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bradley J. Ruffle, 2013. "When Do Large Buyers Pay Less? Experimental Evidence," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 108-137, 03.
  2. Pedro Mendi & Róbert F. Veszteg, . "Sustainability of Collusion: Evidence from the Late 19th Century Basque Iron and Steel Industry," Faculty Working Papers 04/07, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Navarra.
  3. Roel van Veldhuizen & Joep Sonnemans, 2011. "Nonrenewable Resources, Strategic Behavior and the Hotelling Rule: An Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-014/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  4. Goppelsroeder, Marie, 2009. "Entry in Collusive Markets: An Experimental Study," MPRA Paper 14707, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Miguel A. Fonseca & Hans-Theo Normann, 2013. "Excess Capacity and Pricing in Bertrand-Edgeworth Markets: Experimental Evidence," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 169(2), pages 199-228, June.

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