A Dynamic Oligopoly with Collusion and Price Wars
AbstractMost of the theoretical work on collusion and price wars assumes identical firms and an unchanging environment, assumptions which are at odds with what we know about most industries. Further that literature focuses on the impact of collusion on prices. Whether an industry can support collusion also effects investment incentives and hence the variety, cost, and quality of the products marketed. We provide a collusive framework with heterogeneity among firms, investment, entry, and exit. It is a symmetric information model in which it is hard to sustain collusion when either one of the firms does not keep up with the advances of its competitors, or a low quality' entrant enters. In either case there will be an active firm that is quite likely to exit after it deviates, but if one of the competitors is near an exit state the other incumbent(s) has an incentive to price predatorily (that is to deviate themselves). We use numerical analysis to compare an institutional structure that allows for collusion to one which does not (perhaps because of an active antitrust authority). Price paths clearly differ in the two environments; in particular only the collusive industry generates price wars. The collusive industry offers both more and higher quality products to consumers, albeit often at a higher price. The positive effect of collusion on the variety and quality of products marketed more than compensates consumers for the negative effect of collusive prices, so that consumer surplus is larger in the collusive environment.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6936.
Date of creation: Feb 1999
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Fershtman, Chaim and Ariel Pakes. "A Dynamic Oligopoly With Collusion And Price Wars," Rand Journal of Economics, 2000, v31(2,Summer), 207-236.
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
- C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- FRIEDMAN, James W. & THISSE, Jacques-François, .
"Partial collusion fosters minimum product differentiation,"
CORE Discussion Papers RP
-1070, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- James W. Friedman & Jacques-Francois Thisse, 1993. "Partial Collusion Fosters Minimum Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(4), pages 631-645, Winter.
- Levenstein, Margaret C, 1997. "Price Wars and the Stability of Collusion: A Study of the Pre-World War I Bromine Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 117-37, June.
- Robert W. Staiger & Frank A. Wolak, 1992. "Collusive Pricing with Capacity Constraints in the Presence of Demand Uncertainty," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(2), pages 203-220, Summer.
- Friedman, James W, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(113), pages 1-12, January.
- Caplin, A. & Nalebuff, B., 1989.
"Aggregation And Imperfect Competition: On The Existence Of Equilibrium,"
1989_30, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
- Caplin, Andrew & Nalebuff, Barry, 1991. "Aggregation and Imperfect Competition: On the Existence of Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 25-59, January.
- Andrew Caplin & Barry Nalebuff, 1990. "Aggregation and Imperfect Competition: On the Existence of Equilibrium," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 937, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Kandori, Michihiro, 1991. "Correlated Demand Shocks and Price Wars during Booms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 171-80, January.
- Bagwell, K. & Staiger, R.W., 1995.
"Collusion Over the Business Cycle,"
9504, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1995. "Collusion Over the Business Cycle," Discussion Papers 1118, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1995. "Collusion over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 5056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 2001.
"Markov Perfect Equilibrium: I. Observable Actions,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 191-219, October.
- Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 1997. "Markov Perfect Equilibrium, I: Observable Actions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1799, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Fudenberg, D. & Levine, D.K. & Maskin, E., 1989.
"The Folk Theorem With Inperfect Public Information,"
523, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David I & Maskin, Eric, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 997-1039, September.
- Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Eric Maskin, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2058, David K. Levine.
- Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Eric Maskin, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 394, David K. Levine.
- Porter, Robert H., 1983. "Optimal cartel trigger price strategies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 313-338, April.
- Green, Edward J & Porter, Robert H, 1984.
"Noncooperative Collusion under Imperfect Price Information,"
Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 87-100, January.
- 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.
- Edward J Green & Robert H Porter, 1997. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1147, David K. Levine.
- 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.
- Harrington, Joseph Jr., 1989. "Collusion among asymmetric firms: The case of different discount factors," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 289-307, June.
- Fershtman, C. & Gandal, N., 1991.
37-91, Tel Aviv.
- Rubinstein, Ariel, 1979. "Equilibrium in supergames with the overtaking criterion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-9, August.
- 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.
- Schmalensee, Richard, 1987. "Competitive advantage and collusive optima," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 351-367.
- Abreu, Dilip, 1986. "Extremal equilibria of oligopolistic supergames," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 191-225, June.
- Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
- Ericson, Richard & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
- David S. Evans & Michael Salinger, 2004. "An Empirical Analysis of Bundling and Tying: Over-the-Counter Pain Relief and Cold Medicines," CESifo Working Paper Series 1297, CESifo Group Munich.
- Asker, John, 2010. "Leniency and post-cartel market conduct: Preliminary evidence from parcel tanker shipping," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 407-414, July.
- Compte, Olivier & Jenny, Frederic & Rey, Patrick, 2002. "Capacity constraints, mergers and collusion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-29, January.
- Ciliberto, Federico & Williams, Jonathan, 2010. "Does Multimarket Contact Facilitate Tacit Collusion? Inference on Conjectural Parameters in the Airline Industry," MPRA Paper 24888, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Kazuko Kano, 2012.
"Menu Costs and Dynamic Duopoly,"
Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series
gd12-263, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
- David S. Evans & Michael Salinger, 2005. "Curing Sinus Headaches and Tying Law: An Empirical Analysis of Bundling Decongestants and Pain Relievers," CESifo Working Paper Series 1519, CESifo Group Munich.
- Ronald Goettler & Brett Gordon, 2014. "Competition and product innovation in dynamic oligopoly," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 1-42, March.
- Christian Bayer, 2004. "The Other Side of Limited Liability: Predatory Behavior and Investment Timing," Industrial Organization 0407001, EconWPA.
- Hongbin Cai & Uday Rajan, 2005. "Incentive Compatible Collusion and Investment," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 6(1), pages 37-52, May.
- Luis Cabral, 2014. "We're Number 1: Price Wars for Market Share Leadership," Working Papers 14-01, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
- Bettina Becker, 2013. "The Determinants of R&D Investment: A Survey of the Empirical Research," Discussion Paper Series 2013_09, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Sep 2013.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.