How Market Fragmentation Can Facilitate Collusion
AbstractWhen regulated markets are liberalized, economists always stress the benefits of fragmenting existing capacities among more firms. This is because oligopoly models typically imply that a larger number of firms generates stronger competition. I show in this paper that this intuition may fail under collusion. When individual firms are capacity constrained relative to total demand, the fragmentation of capacity facilitates collusion and increases the highest sustainable collusive price. This result can explain the finding in Sweeting (2005) that dramatic fragmentation of generation capacity in the English electricity industry led to increasing price cost margins.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5948.
Date of creation: Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
- J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-12-09 (All new papers)
- NEP-COM-2006-12-09 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-MIC-2006-12-09 (Microeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Brock, William A & Scheinkman, Jose A, 1985. "Price Setting Supergames with Capacity Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 371-82, July.
- Valerie Y. Suslow, 2005. "Cartel contract duration: empirical evidence from inter-war international cartels," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(5), pages 705-744, October.
- Compte, Olivier & Jenny, Frederic & Rey, Patrick, 2002. "Capacity constraints, mergers and collusion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-29, January.
- Hay, George A & Kelley, Daniel, 1974. "An Empirical Survey of Price Fixing Conspiracies," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 13-38, April.
- Asch, Peter & Seneca, Joseph J, 1975. "Characteristics of Collusive Firms," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 223-37, March.
- Lambson, Val Eugene, 1987. "Optimal Penal Codes in Price-Setting Supergames with Capacity Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 385-97, July.
- Green, Richard J & Newbery, David M, 1992.
"Competition in the British Electricity Spot Market,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 929-53, October.
- Green, Richard & Newbery, David M G, 1991. "Competition in the British Electricity Spot Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 557, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Fraas, Arthur G & Greer, Douglas F, 1977. "Market Structure and Price Collusion: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 21-44, September.
- Posner, Richard A, 1970. "A Statistical Study of Antitrust Enforcement," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 365-419, October.
- Green, Richard J, 1996. "Increasing Competition in the British Electricity Spot Market," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 205-16, June.
- Davidson, Carl & Deneckere, Raymond J, 1990.
"Excess Capacity and Collusion,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(3), pages 521-41, August.
- Kühn, Kai-Uwe & Rimler, Michael S, 2006. "The Comparative Statics of Collusion Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 5742, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Motta,Massimo, 2004. "Competition Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521016919, December.
- Arocena, Pablo & Kuhn, Kai-Uwe- & Regibeau, Pierre, 1999. "Regulatory reform in the Spanish electricity industry: a missed opportunity for competition," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 387-399, July.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.