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Trade costs and multimarket collusion

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  • Eric W. Bond
  • Constantinos Syropoulos

Abstract

Contrary to conventional wisdom, this article argues that trade liberalization may facilitate collusion and reduce welfare. With the help of a duopoly model in which firms interact repeatedly in multiple markets, we first show that, if trade costs (i.e., tariffs/transport costs) and discount factors are not too high, efficient cartel agreements necessitate the cross-hauling of goods, as that entails lower deviation incentives. In this setting, we then demonstrate that reciprocal trade liberalization always raises total output when trade costs are within a range whose lower bound exceeds a threshold level, but may reduce total output (and thus be pro-collusive) when trade costs are below that threshold level. Copyright (c) 2008, RAND.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric W. Bond & Constantinos Syropoulos, 2008. "Trade costs and multimarket collusion," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(4), pages 1080-1104.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:39:y:2008:i:4:p:1080-1104
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul Milgrom & Ilya Segal, 2002. "Envelope Theorems for Arbitrary Choice Sets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 583-601, March.
    2. Syropoulos, Constantinos, 1992. "Quantitative restrictions and tariffs with endogenous firm behavior," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1627-1646, December.
    3. Athey, Susan & Bagwell, Kyle, 2001. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 428-465, Autumn.
    4. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1990. "Multimarket Contact and Collusive Behavior," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 1-26, Spring.
    5. Davidson, Carl, 1984. "Cartel stability and tariff policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3-4), pages 219-237, November.
    6. Lommerud, Kjell Erik & Sorgard, Lars, 2001. "Trade Liberalization and Cartel Stability," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 343-355, May.
    7. Abreu, Dilip, 1986. "Extremal equilibria of oligopolistic supergames," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 191-225, June.
    8. Julio J. Rotemberg & Garth Saloner, 1989. "Tariffs vs Quotas with Implicit Collusion," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 22(2), pages 237-244, May.
    9. 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 767-792, November.
    10. Fung, K C, 1992. "Economic Integration as Competitive Discipline," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(4), pages 837-847, November.
    11. Owen R. Phillips & Charles F. Mason, 1996. "Market Regulation and Multimarket Rivalry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(3), pages 596-617, Autumn.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stéphanie Boulenger & Marcelin Joanis, 2015. "Analyse économique des marchés publics dans l’industrie de la construction au Québec," CIRANO Project Reports 2015rp-23, CIRANO.
    2. Bhattacharjea, Aditya & Sinha, Uday Bhanu, 2015. "Multi-market collusion with territorial allocation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 42-50.
    3. Jay Pil Choi & Heiko Gerlach, 2012. "International Antitrust Enforcement And Multimarket Contact," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(2), pages 635-658, May.
    4. Dennis Sánchez Navarro, 2013. "Eficacia y asimetrías de los programas de delación en un contexto multimercado: un análisis del caso colombiano en el marco del TLC con Estados Unidos," ESTUDIOS ECONÓMICOS SIC 010905, SUPERINTENDENCIA DE INDUSTRIA Y COMERCIO.
    5. Bond, Eric W. & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 2012. "Economic integration and the sustainability of multimarket collusion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 42-44.
    6. Gaussens, Olivier & Lecostey, Sophie & Simon, Geoffray, 2011. "Intégration internationale et concurrence effective : quelques apports de la théorie de l’oligopole," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 87(4), pages 481-502, décembre.
    7. Aya Ahmed, 2015. "Asymmetric cartel formation under trade liberalization: Heterogeneous firms with capacity constraints," Working Papers 2015.02, International Network for Economic Research - INFER.
    8. Levenstein, Margaret C. & Sivadasan, Jagadeesh & Suslow, Valerie Y., 2015. "The effect of competition on trade: Evidence from the collapse of international cartels," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 56-70.
    9. Damoun Ashournia & Per Svejstrup Hansen & Jonas Worm Hansen, 2013. "Trade Liberalization and the Degree of Competition in International Duopoly," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(5), pages 1048-1059, November.
    10. Akinbosoye, Osayi & Bond, Eric W. & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 2012. "On the stability of multimarket collusion in price-setting supergames," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 253-264.
    11. Feinberg, Robert M., 2013. "Multimarket contact and export entry," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 82-84.
    12. Byford, Martin C. & Gans, Joshua S., 2014. "Collusion at the extensive margin," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 75-83.
    13. repec:bla:reviec:v:25:y:2017:i:5:p:999-1016 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Roux, Catherine & Santos-Pinto, Luís & Thöni, Christian, 2016. "Home bias in multimarket Cournot games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 361-371.
    15. Sánchez Navarro, Dennis, 2013. "Eficacia y asimetrías de los programas de delación en un contexto multi-mercado: un análisis del caso colombiano en el marco del TLC con Estados Unidos
      [Efficacy and asymmetries of the leniency pro
      ," MPRA Paper 48699, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Collie, David R., 2009. "Tacit Collusion over Foreign Direct Investment under Oligopoly," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2009/8, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.

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