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Tacit Collusion in the Presence of Cyclical Demand and Endogenous Capacity Levels

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  • Christopher R. Knittel
  • Jason J. Lepore

Abstract

We analyze tacit collusion in an industry characterized by cyclical demand and long-run scale decisions; firms face deterministic demand cycles and choose capacity levels prior to competing in prices. Our focus is on the nature of prices. We find that two types of price wars may exist. In one, collusion can involve periods of mixed strategy price wars. In the other, consistent with the Rotemberg and Saloner (1986) definition of price wars, we show that collusive prices can also become countercyclical. We also establish pricing patterns with respect to the relative prices in booms and recessions. If the marginal cost of capacity is high enough, holding current demand constant, prices in the boom will be generally lower than the prices in the recession; this reverses the results of Haltiwanger and Harrington (1991). In contrast, if the marginal cost of capacity is low enough, then prices in the boom will be generally higher than the prices in the recession. For costs in an intermediate range, numerical examples are calculated to show specific pricing patterns.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12635.

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Date of creation: Oct 2006
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Publication status: published as Knittel, Christopher R. & Lepore, Jason J., 2010. "Tacit collusion in the presence of cyclical demand and endogenous capacity levels," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 131-144, March.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12635

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  1. Carl Davidson & Raymond Deneckere, 1984. "Excess Capacity and Collusion," Discussion Papers 675, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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Cited by:
  1. Marcelo Resende & Rodrigo M. Zeidan, 2011. "Tacit Collusion under Imperfect Monitoring in the Canadian Manufacturing Industry: An Empirical Study," CESifo Working Paper Series 3623, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. António Brandão & Joana Pinho & Hélder Vasconcelos, 2013. "Asymmetric collusion with growing demand," FEP Working Papers 510, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  3. Johannes Paha, 2013. "The Impact of Persistent Shocks and Concave Objective Functions on Collusive Behavior," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201328, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  4. João Correia-da-Silva & Joana Pinho & Hélder Vasconcelos, 2014. "Sustaining collusion in markets with a general evolution of demand," FEP Working Papers 537, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.

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