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Collusion with Capacity Constraints over the Business Cycle

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  • Natalia Fabra

    (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of capacity constraints on the sustainability of collusion in markets subject to cyclical demand fluctuations. In the absence of capacity constraints (i.e. a limiting case of our model), Haltiwanger and Harrington (1991) show that firms find it more difficult to collude during periods of decreasing demand. We find that this prediction can be overturned if firms' capacities are sufficiently small. Capacity constraints imply that punishment profits move procyclically, so that periods of increasing demand may lead to lower losses from cheating even if collusive profits are rising. Haltiwanger and Harrington's main prediction remains valid for su±ciently large capacities.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/io/papers/0308/0308001.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 0308001.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 31 Aug 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0308001

Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on PC; pages: 24 ; figures: included
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: Collusion; Capacity Constraints; Business Cycles;

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References

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  1. Dan Kovenock & Raymond J. Deneckere, 1996. "Bertrand-Edgeworth duopoly with unit cost asymmetry (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 1-25.
  2. Osborne, Martin J. & Pitchik, Carolyn, 1986. "Price competition in a capacity-constrained duopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 238-260, April.
  3. Carl Davidson & Raymond Deneckere, 1986. "Long-Run Competition in Capacity, Short-Run Competition in Price, and the Cournot Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 404-415, Autumn.
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  7. David M. Kreps & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1983. "Quantity Precommitment and Bertrand Competition Yield Cournot Outcomes," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 326-337, Autumn.
  8. Timothy F. BRESNAHAN & Valérie SUSLOW, 1989. "Oligopoly Pricing with Capacity Constraints," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 15-16, pages 267-289.
  9. Compte, Olivier & Jenny, Frederic & Rey, Patrick, 2002. "Capacity constraints, mergers and collusion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-29, January.
  10. Severin Boreinstein & Andrea Shepard, 1996. "Dynamic Pricing in Retail Gasoline Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(3), pages 429-451, Autumn.
  11. repec:att:wimass:9504 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1995. "Collusion over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 5056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Cowling, Keith, 1983. "Excess Capacity and the Degree of Collusion: Oligopoly Behaviour in the Slump," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 51(4), pages 341-59, December.
  14. Brock, William A & Scheinkman, Jose A, 1985. "Price Setting Supergames with Capacity Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 371-82, July.
  15. 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.
  16. Rosenbaum, David I., 1989. "An empirical test of the effect of excess capacity in price setting, capacity-constrained supergames," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 231-241, June.
  17. Rosenbaum, David I. & Sukharomana, Supachat, 2001. "Oligopolistic pricing over the deterministic market demand cycle: some evidence from the US Portland cement industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 863-884, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Knittel, Christopher R. & Lepore, Jason J., 2010. "Tacit collusion in the presence of cyclical demand and endogenous capacity levels," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 131-144, March.
  2. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr, 2005. "Detecting Cartels," Economics Working Paper Archive 526, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  3. Federico Boffa & Carlo Scarpa, 2009. "An Anticompetitive Effect of Eliminating Transport Barriers in Network Markets," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 115-133, March.
  4. Johannes Paha, 2013. "The Impact of Persistent Shocks and Concave Objective Functions on Collusive Behavior," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201328, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  5. João Correia-da-Silva & Joana Pinho & Hélder Vasconcelos, 2014. "Sustaining collusion in markets with a general evolution of demand," FEP Working Papers 537, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  6. Yossi Spiegel & Konrad O. Stahl, 2014. "Industry Structure and Pricing over the Business Cycle," CESifo Working Paper Series 4848, CESifo Group Munich.

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