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Optimal Collusion under Cost Asymmetry

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  • Miklos-Thal, Jeanine

Abstract

Cost 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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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 11044.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:11044

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Keywords: horizontal collusion; cost asymmetry; optimal punishments; side payments;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Argenton, Cédric & Müller, Wieland, 2012. "Collusion in experimental Bertrand duopolies with convex costs: The role of cost asymmetry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 508-517.
  2. Billette de Villemeur, Etienne & Flochel, Laurent & Versaevel, Bruno, 2012. "Optimal collusion with limited liability," MPRA Paper 38481, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. John Asker & Heski Bar-Isaac, 2010. "Exclusionary Minimum Resale Price Maintenance," NBER Working Papers 16564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Miklós-Thal, Jeanine, 2008. "Delivered pricing and the impact of spatial differentiation on cartel stability," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1365-1380, November.
  5. Jeanine Miklós-Thal, 2011. "Optimal collusion under cost asymmetry," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 99-125, January.
  6. Goldlücke, Susanne & Kranz, Sebastian, 2013. "Renegotiation-proof relational contracts," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 157-178.
  7. Domenico Buccella, 2010. "FDI, International Trade and Union Collusion," FIW Working Paper series 050, FIW.
  8. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr & Roberto Hernan-Gonzalez & Praveen Kujal, 2013. "The Relative Efficacy of Price Announcements and Express Communication for Collusion: Experimental Findings," Working Papers 13-30, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  9. John Asker & Heski Bar-Isaac, 2014. "Raising Retailers' Profits: On Vertical Practices and the Exclusion of Rivals," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(2), pages 672-86, February.
  10. Stefano Colombo, 2011. "Pricing Policy and Partial Collusion," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 325-349, December.
  11. Aditya Bhattacharjea & Uday Bhanu Sinha, 2012. "Multi-market Collusion with Territorial Allocation," Working papers 217, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  12. Kranz, Sebastian & Ohlendorf, Susanne, 2009. "Renegotiation-Proof Relational Contracts with Side Payments," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 259, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  13. António Brandão & Joana Pinho & Hélder Vasconcelos, 2013. "Asymmetric collusion with growing demand," FEP Working Papers 510, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  14. Aitor Ciarreta & Carlos Gutiérrez-Hita, 2012. "Collusive behaviour under cost asymmetries when firms compete in supply functions," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 106(3), pages 195-219, July.
  15. Akinbosoye, Osayi & Bond, Eric W. & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 2012. "On the stability of multimarket collusion in price-setting supergames," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 253-264.

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