Cartels and Search
AbstractThis paper unifies two significant but somewhat contradictory ideas. First, search costs potentially influence market price equilibria significantly; in many equilibria consumers do not search despite above-competitive prices. Second, cartels must guard against individual members offering lower prices, thereby creating incentives for consumers to search. We develop a simple framework, and then an example, in which whether search takes place depends upon the magnitude of search costs. Three potential equilibria result, dependent upon model parameters. These include a tacit cartel agreement exhibiting price variance and volatility. A policy conclusion is that such market characteristics do not always guarantee non-cartelisation.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 770.
Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-11-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-COM-2006-11-18 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-IND-2006-11-18 (Industrial Organization)
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