Flexibility and Collusion with Imperfect Monitoring
AbstractFlexibility - the ability to react swiftly to others' choices - facilitates collusion by reducing gains from defection before opponents react. Under imperfect monitoring, however, flexibility may also hinder collusion by inducing punishment after too few noisy signals. The combination of these forces predicts a non-monotonic relationship between flexibility and collusion. To test this subtle prediction we implement in the laboratory an indefinitely repeated Cournot game with noisy price information and vary how long players have to wait before changing output. We find that (i) the facilitating role of flexibility is lost under imperfect monitoring, and (ii) with learning, collusion unravels with low or high flexibility, but not with intermediate flexibility.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8877.
Date of creation: Mar 2012
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
- C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
- D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
- L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
- L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-03-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2012-03-28 (Business Economics)
- NEP-COM-2012-03-28 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-CTA-2012-03-28 (Contract Theory & Applications)
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