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Endogenous cartel formation with heterogeneous firms

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  • Iwan Bos
  • Joseph E. Harrington, Jr

Abstract

In the context of an infinitely repeated capacity-constrained price game, we endogenize the composition of a cartel when firms are heterogeneous in their capacities. When firms are sufficiently patient, there exists a stable cartel involving the largest firms. A firm with sufficiently small capacity is not a member of any stable cartel. When a cartel is not all-inclusive, colluding firms set a price that serves as an umbrella with non-cartel members pricing below it and producing at capacity. Contrary to previous work, our results suggest that the most severe coordinated effects may come from mergers involving moderate-sized firms, rather than the largest or smallest firms. Copyright (c) 2010, RAND.

Suggested Citation

  • Iwan Bos & Joseph E. Harrington, Jr, 2010. "Endogenous cartel formation with heterogeneous firms," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(1), pages 92-117.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:41:y:2010:i:1:p:92-117
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