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Cooperation in the Presence of an Advantaged Outsider

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  • Cheikbossian, Guillaume
  • Mahenc, Philippe

Abstract

This paper analyzes how the stability of the tacit cooperation within a fringe of sev- eral identical ?rms is a¤ected by the presence of a more e¢ cient ?rm which does not take part in their cooperative agreement. The model assumes that the ?rms of the fringe adopt ?stick and carrot?strategies à la Abreu (1986, 1988) to support cooperation, while the outside ?rm plays its one-period best response function to these strategies, regardless of the history of play. Assuming a linear demand function and constant marginal costs, we then obtain conditions for the coopera- tion within the fringe to be sustainable and focus on the most cooperative symmetric punishment (MCSP) that sustains cooperation. We show that the MCSP is harsher when the number of ?rms involved in the agreement is relatively large or when their relative cost disadvantage is relatively small. However, both a larger number of ?rms and a larger cost disadvantage make it more di¢ cult to sustain the cooperation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 13-390.

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Date of creation: Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:27138

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Related research

Keywords: Repeated Game; Tacit Collusion; Optimal Punishments; Cost Asymmetry; Outsider;

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  1. Abreu, Dilip, 1986. "Extremal equilibria of oligopolistic supergames," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 191-225, June.
  2. de Roos, Nicolas, 2006. "Examining models of collusion: The market for lysine," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1083-1107, November.
  3. de Roos, Nicolas, 2004. "A model of collusion timing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 351-387, March.
  4. Helder Vasconcelos, 2005. "Tacit Collusion, Cost Asymmetries, and Mergers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(1), pages 39-62, Spring.
  5. Rothschild, R., 1999. "Cartel stability when costs are heterogeneous," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 717-734, July.
  6. Motta,Massimo, 2004. "Competition Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521016919.
  7. Harrington, Joseph E, Jr, 1991. "The Determination of Price and Output Quotas in a Heterogeneous Cartel," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(4), pages 767-92, November.
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