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Private Monitoring and Communication in Cartels: Explaining Recent Collusive Practices

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  • Joseph E. Harrington, Jr.
  • Andrzej Skrzypacz

Abstract

Motivated by recent cartel practices, a stable collusive agreement is characterized when firms' prices and quantities are private information. Conditions are derived whereby an equilibrium exists in which firms truthfully report their sales and then make transfers within the cartel based on these reports. The properties of this equilibrium fit well with the cartel agreements used in a number of markets including citric acid, lysine, and vitamins.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number 555.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:jhu:papers:555

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References

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  1. Ichiro Obara, 2005. "Folk Theorem with Communication," UCLA Economics Online Papers 366, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Kandori, Michihiro, 2002. "Introduction to Repeated Games with Private Monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 1-15, January.
  3. Johannes Hörner & Wojciech Olszewski, 2006. "The Folk Theorem for Games with Private Almost-Perfect Monitoring," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1499-1544, November.
  4. William Fuchs, 2005. "Contracting with Repeated Moral Hazard and Private Evaluations," Discussion Papers 04-012, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  5. Olivier Compte, 1998. "Communication in Repeated Games with Imperfect Private Monitoring," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 597-626, May.
  6. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," Working papers 99-17, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Michihiro Kandori & Hitoshi Matsushima, 1998. "Private Observation, Communication and Collusion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 627-652, May.
  8. David G. Pearce & Dilip Abreu & Paul R. Milgrom, 1988. "Information and Timing in Repeated Partnerships," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 875, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Zheng, Bingyong, 2008. "Approximate efficiency in repeated games with correlated private signals," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 406-416, May.
  10. Edward J Green & Robert H Porter, 1997. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1147, David K. Levine.
  11. Mailath, George J. & Samuelson, Larry, 2006. "Repeated Games and Reputations: Long-Run Relationships," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195300796.
  12. Aoyagi, Masaki, 2002. "Collusion in Dynamic Bertrand Oligopoly with Correlated Private Signals and Communication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 229-248, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Fonseca, Miguel A. & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2012. "Explicit vs. tacit collusion—The impact of communication in oligopoly experiments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1759-1772.
  3. Yuichi Yamamoto, 2013. "Individual Learning and Cooperation in Noisy Repeated Games," PIER Working Paper Archive 13-038, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  4. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr. & Wei Zhao, 2010. "Signaling and Tacit Collusion in an Infinitely Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma," Economics Working Paper Archive 559, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  5. Yuichi Yamamoto, 2012. "Characterizing Belief-Free Review-Strategy Equilibrium Payoffs under ConditionalIndependence," PIER Working Paper Archive 12-005, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  6. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr. & Juan-Pablo Montero, 2013. "Cartel Sales Dynamics when Monitoring for Compliance is More Frequent than Punishment for Non-Compliance," Documentos de Trabajo 446, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  7. Gärtner, Dennis L. & Zhou, Jun, 2012. "Delays in Leniency Application: Is There Really a Race to the Enforcer's Door?," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 395, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  8. Catherine Roux & Christian Thöni, 2013. "Collusion Among Many Firms: The Disciplinary Power of Targeted Punishment," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 13.02, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  9. Frieder Mokinski & Nikolas Wölfing, 2014. "The effect of regulatory scrutiny: Asymmetric cost pass-through in power wholesale and its end," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 175-193, April.
  10. Salvatore Piccolo & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2014. "Debt, Managers and Cartels," CSEF Working Papers 365, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  11. Tim Reuter, 2013. "Endogenous Cartel Organization and Antitrust Fine Discrimination," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2013-09, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  12. Mokinski, Frieder & Wölfing, Nikolas, 2013. "The effect of regulatory scrutiny asymmetric cost pass-through in power wholesale and its end," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-055, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  13. Ricardo Andrés Guzmán & Rodrigo Harrison & Nureya Abarca & Mauricio G. Villena, 2013. "Reciprocity and Trust: Personality Psychology meets Behavioral Economics," Documentos de Trabajo 439, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  14. Yamamoto, Yuichi, 2012. "Characterizing belief-free review-strategy equilibrium payoffs under conditional independence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(5), pages 1998-2027.
  15. Yuichi Yamamoto, 2012. "Individual Learning and Cooperation in Noisy Repeated Games," PIER Working Paper Archive 12-044, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.

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