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Stochastic market sharing, partial communication and collusion

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  • Gerlach, Heiko

    ()
    (IESE Business School)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the role of communication between firms in an infinitely repeated Bertrand game in which firms receive an imperfect private signal of a common value i.i.d. demand shock. It is shown that firms can use stochastic, inter-temporal market sharing as a perfect substitute for communication in low-demand states. Therefore, partial communication in high-demand states is sufficient to achieve the most collusive, full communication outcome. And partial communication in low-demand states does not improve on the equilibrium without communication. Communication in high-demand states allows firms to coordinate their pricing, choose the most efficient uninformed price and avoid price wars. I demonstrate that under some conditions consumers are better off with communication among colluding firms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by IESE Business School in its series IESE Research Papers with number D/674.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 21 Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ebg:iesewp:d-0674

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Postal: IESE Business School, Av Pearson 21, 08034 Barcelona, SPAIN
Web page: http://www.iese.edu/
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Keywords: Stochastic market sharing; communication; collusion; competition policy;

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References

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  1. Robert H. Porter, 1983. "A Study of Cartel Stability: The Joint Executive Committee, 1880-1886," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 301-314, Autumn.
  2. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1990. "Toward a Theory of Discounted Repeated Games with Imperfect Monitoring," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1041-63, September.
  3. Edward J Green & Robert H Porter, 1997. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1147, David K. Levine.
  4. Joseph E Harrington, 2001. "Optimal Cartel Pricing in the Presence of an Antitrust Authority," Economics Working Paper Archive 460, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Jul 2002.
  5. Athey, Susan & Bagwell, Kyle, 2001. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 428-65, Autumn.
  6. Makoto Hanazono & Huanxing Yang, 2007. "Collusion, Fluctuating Demand, And Price Rigidity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(2), pages 483-515, 05.
  7. Gerlach, Heiko, 2007. "Stochastic market sharing, partial communication and collusion," IESE Research Papers D/674, IESE Business School.
  8. Glenn Ellison, 1994. "Theories of Cartel Stability and the Joint Executive Committee," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 37-57, Spring.
  9. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Eric Maskin, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2058, David K. Levine.
  10. Joseph E Harrington Jr, 2002. "Cartel Pricing Dynamics in the Presence of an Antitrust Authority," Economics Working Paper Archive 487, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised May 2003.
  11. Michihiro Kandori & Hitoshi Matsushima, 1998. "Private Observation, Communication and Collusion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 627-652, May.
  12. Olivier Compte, 1998. "Communication in Repeated Games with Imperfect Private Monitoring," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 597-626, May.
  13. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell & Chris Sanchirico, 1998. "Collusion and Price Rigidity," Working papers 98-23, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Devereux, Michael P. & Guiso, Luigi & Hassler, John & Saint-Paul, Gilles & Sinn, Hans-Werner & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Vives, Xavier, 2010. "The European economy," Munich Reprints in Economics 20104, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  15. Motta,Massimo, 2004. "Competition Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521016919, April.
  16. Kai-Uwe Kühn, 2001. "Fighting collusion by regulating communication between firms," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 167-204, 04.
  17. Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1986. "A Supergame-Theoretic Model of Price Wars during Booms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 390-407, June.
  18. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1986. "Optimal cartel equilibria with imperfect monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 251-269, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Gerlach, Heiko, 2007. "Stochastic market sharing, partial communication and collusion," IESE Research Papers D/674, IESE Business School.
  2. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2012. "A Theory of Tacit Collusion," Economics Working Paper Archive 588, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  3. Harrington, Joseph E. & Zhao, Wei, 2012. "Signaling and tacit collusion in an infinitely repeated Prisoners’ Dilemma," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 277-289.
  4. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr. & Wei Zhao, 2012. "Signaling and Tacit Collusion in an Infinitely Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma," Economics Working Paper Archive 587, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.

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