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Stochastic Market Sharing, Partial Communication and Collusion

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  • Heiko Gerlach

    (University OF AUCKLAND)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the role of communication between firms in an infinitely repeated Bertrand game in which firms receive an imperfect private signal of a common value i.i.d. demand shock. It is shown that firms can use stochastic, inter-temporal market sharing as a perfect substitute for communication in low demand states. Therefore, partial communication in high demand states is sufficient to achieve the most collusive, full communication outcome. And partial communication in low demand state does not improve on the equilibrium without communication. Communication in high demand states allows firms to coordinate their pricing, choose the most efficient uninformed price and avoid price wars. I demonstrate that under some conditions consumers are better off with communication among colluding firms.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/io/papers/0501/0501009.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 0501009.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 31 Jan 2005
Date of revision: 23 Mar 2006
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0501009

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 32
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: Stochastic Market Sharing; Communication; Collusion; Competition Policy;

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References

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  1. Makoto Hanazono & Huanxing Yang, 2007. "Collusion, Fluctuating Demand, And Price Rigidity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(2), pages 483-515, 05.
  2. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David I & Maskin, Eric, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 997-1039, September.
  3. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Devereux, Michael P. & Guiso, Luigi & Hassler, John & Saint-Paul, Gilles & Sinn, Hans-Werner & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Vives, Xavier, 2010. "The European economy," Munich Reprints in Economics 20104, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Edward J Green & Robert H Porter, 1997. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1147, David K. Levine.
  5. Athey, Susan & Bagwell, Kyle, 2001. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 428-65, Autumn.
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  7. Joseph E. Harrington, 2005. "Optimal Cartel Pricing In The Presence Of An Antitrust Authority," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(1), pages 145-169, 02.
  8. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2003. "Cartel Pricing Dynamics in the Presence of an Antitrust Authority," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 26, Society for Computational Economics.
  9. Glenn Ellison, 1994. "Theories of Cartel Stability and the Joint Executive Committee," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 37-57, Spring.
  10. 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.
  11. Kai-Uwe Kühn, 2001. "Fighting collusion by regulating communication between firms," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 167-204, 04.
  12. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1990. "Toward a Theory of Discounted Repeated Games with Imperfect Monitoring," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1041-63, September.
  13. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell & Chris Sanchirico, 2002. "Collusion and price rigidity," Discussion Papers 0102-38, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  14. Gerlach, Heiko, 2007. "Stochastic market sharing, partial communication and collusion," IESE Research Papers D/674, IESE Business School.
  15. Olivier Compte, 1998. "Communication in Repeated Games with Imperfect Private Monitoring," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 597-626, May.
  16. Robert H. Porter, 1983. "A Study of Cartel Stability: The Joint Executive Committee, 1880-1886," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 301-314, Autumn.
  17. Motta,Massimo, 2004. "Competition Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521016919, April.
  18. Michihiro Kandori & Hitoshi Matsushima, 1998. "Private Observation, Communication and Collusion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 627-652, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gerlach, Heiko, 2009. "Stochastic market sharing, partial communication and collusion," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 655-666, November.
  2. Harrington, Joseph E. & Zhao, Wei, 2012. "Signaling and tacit collusion in an infinitely repeated Prisoners’ Dilemma," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 277-289.
  3. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2012. "A Theory of Tacit Collusion," Economics Working Paper Archive 588, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  4. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr. & Wei Zhao, 2012. "Signaling and Tacit Collusion in an Infinitely Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma," Economics Working Paper Archive 587, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.

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