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Cartel Enforcement with Uncertainty About Costs

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  • Cramton, Peter C.
  • Palfrey, Thomas R.

Abstract

What cartel agreements are possible when firms have private information about production costs? For private cost uncertainty we characterize the set of cartel agreements that can be supported, recognizing incentive and participation constraints. If defection results in either Cournot or Bertrand competition, the incentive problem in large cartels is severe enough to prevent the cartel from achieving the monopoly outcome. However, if the cartel agreement requires less than unanimous ratification by the member firms, then the incentive problem can be overcome in large cartels. With common cost uncertainty, perfect collusion is possible in large cartels, regardless of the ratification rule.

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Paper provided by California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences in its series Working Papers with number 619.

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Date of creation: Oct 1986
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Publication status: Published:
Handle: RePEc:clt:sswopa:619

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  1. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1992. "Bidding Rings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 579-99, June.
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  3. Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Exchange of Cost Information in Oligopoly," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 433-46, July.
  4. Kihlstrom, R. & Vives, X., 1989. "Collusion By Asymmetricaly Informed Firms," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 125-89, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  5. Palfrey, Thomas R, 1985. "Uncertainty Resolution, Private Information Aggregation, and the Cournot Competitive Limit," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 69-83, January.
  6. Edward J Green & Robert H Porter, 1997. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1147, David K. Levine.
  7. David P. Baron & David Besanko, 1984. "Regulation, Asymmetric Information, and Auditing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 447-470, Winter.
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  11. Hallagan, William S, 1985. "Contracting Problems and the Adoption of Regulatory Cartels," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 23(1), pages 37-56, January.
  12. Porter, Robert H., 1983. "Optimal cartel trigger price strategies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 313-338, April.
  13. Abreu, Dilip, 1986. "Extremal equilibria of oligopolistic supergames," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 191-225, June.
  14. Vives, Xavier, 1984. "Duopoly information equilibrium: Cournot and bertrand," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 71-94, October.
  15. Fudenberg, Drew & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Folk Theorem in Repeated Games with Discounting or with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 533-54, May.
  16. Cremer, Jacques & McLean, Richard P, 1988. "Full Extraction of the Surplus in Bayesian and Dominant Strategy Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1247-57, November.
  17. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 614-41, June.
  18. Gal-Or, Esther, 1985. "Information Sharing in Oligopoly," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 329-43, March.
  19. Riordan, Michael H & Sappington, David E M, 1987. "Awarding Monopoly Franchises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 375-87, June.
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