Optimal Collusion under Cost Asymmetry
AbstractCost asymmetry is generally thought to hinder collusion because a more efficient firm has both more to gain from a deviation and less to fear from retaliation than less efficient firms. Our paper reexamines this conventional wisdom and characterizes optimal collusion without any prior restriction on the class of strategies. We first stress that firms can credibly agree on retaliation schemes that maximally punish even the most efficient firm. This implies that whenever collusion is sustainable under cost symmetry, some collusion is also sustainable under cost asymmetry; efficient collusion, however, remains more di¢ cult to sustain when costs are asymmetric. Finally, we show that, in the presence of side payments, cost asymmetry generally facilitates collusion.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 11044.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
horizontal collusion; cost asymmetry; optimal punishments; side payments;
Other versions of this item:
- L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
- L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-10-21 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2008-10-21 (Business Economics)
- NEP-COM-2008-10-21 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-MIC-2008-10-21 (Microeconomics)
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