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Resale Price Maintenance and Collusion

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  • Jullien, Bruno
  • Rey, Patrick

Abstract

The paper revisits the conventional wisdom according to which vertical restrictions on retail prices help upstream firms to collude. We analyse the scope for collusion with and without resale price maintenance (RPM) when retailers observe local shocks on demand or retail costs. In the absence of RPM, retail prices react to retailers' information and deviations from collusive behaviour are thus difficult to detect. By eliminating retail price flexibility, RPM facilitates the detection of deviations but reduces profits and increases the short-run gains from a deviation. Overall, RPM can facilitate collusion and it reduces total welfare whenever firms choose to adopt it.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 102.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Publication status: Published in The RAND Journal of Economics, vol.�38, n°4, Winter 2007, p.�983-1001.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:681

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  1. Green, Edward J. & Porter, Robert H., 1982. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Working Papers 367, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  2. Rey, Patrick & Stiglitz, Joseph, 1988. "Vertical restraints and producers' competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 561-568, March.
  3. Rey, Patrick & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "A Primer on Foreclosure," IDEI Working Papers 203, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Nov 2005.
  4. 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.
  5. Abreu, Dilip, 1986. "Extremal equilibria of oligopolistic supergames," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 191-225, June.
  6. Slade, Margaret E, 1998. "Beer and the Tie: Did Divestiture of Brewer-Owned Public Houses Lead to Higher Beer Prices?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 565-602, May.
  7. A. Michael Spence, 1975. "Monopoly, Quality, and Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(2), pages 417-429, Autumn.
  8. Patrick Rey & Jean Tirole, 1985. "Vertical Restraints from a Principal-Agent Viewpoint," Working papers 395, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1987. "Contracts as a Barrier to Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 388-401, June.
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