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Silence is golden: communication, silence, and cartel stability

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  • Basuchoudhary, Atin
  • Conlon, John R.

Abstract

This paper studies how cartel stability is influenced by asymmetric information and communication about demand. Firms in a cartel face fluctuating demand in a repeated game framework. In each period, one randomly chosen firm knows current demand. In this context we consider two different equilibria -- one where the informed firm communicates its information to its partners and another where it does not. We show that cartels are extremely unstable when the informed firm communicates with the uninformed firms. However, when the informed firm does not communicate with the uninformed firms cartels can be as stable as when there are no demand fluctuations at all.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/44246/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 44246.

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Date of creation: Jan 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44246

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Related research

Keywords: cartels; communication; stability;

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  1. Athey, Susan & Bagwell, Kyle, 2001. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 428-65, Autumn.
  2. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell & Chris Sanchirico, 2004. "Collusion and Price Rigidity," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 317-349, 04.
  3. Abreu, Dilip, 1986. "Extremal equilibria of oligopolistic supergames," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 191-225, June.
  4. Feinberg, Robert M, 1980. "Antitrust Enforcement and Subsequent Price Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(4), pages 609-12, November.
  5. 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.
  6. Abreu, Dilip, 1988. "On the Theory of Infinitely Repeated Games with Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 383-96, March.
  7. 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.
  8. Severin Borenstein & Andrea Shepard, 1993. "Dynamic Pricing in Retail Gasoline Markets," NBER Working Papers 4489, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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