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Colluding through suppliers

Author

Listed:
  • Salvatore Piccolo
  • Jeanine Miklós-Thal

Abstract

In a dynamic game between N retailers and a large number of suppliers, I show that inefficient contracting emerges as a mechanism to implement collusion among retailers, building on the natural ‘complementarity’ between retail and wholesale prices. When efficient collusion is not sustainable, this complementarity allows retailers to rely on inefficient input supply, entailing double marginalization and negative franchise fees, to squeeze the wedge between collusive and deviation profits. I also study the role of communication on the equilibrium outcomes of games where retailers have the initiative. It turns out that communication is indeed fundamental to strengthen cartels' sustainability, although generating efficiency losses.
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Suggested Citation

  • Salvatore Piccolo & Jeanine Miklós-Thal, 2012. "Colluding through suppliers," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(3), pages 492-513, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:43:y:2012:i:3:p:492-513
    DOI: j.1756-2171.2012.00183.x
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1756-2171.2012.00183.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nocke, Volker & Rey, Patrick, 2014. "Exclusive Dealing and Vertical Integration in Interlocking Relationships," TSE Working Papers 14-515, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Jul 2017.
    2. Teichmann, Isabel & von Schlippenbach, Vanessa, 2015. "Collusive effects of a monopolist's use of an intermediary to deliver to retailers," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112948, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. repec:eee:indorg:v:53:y:2017:i:c:p:353-370 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Cheng-Feng Cheng, 2012. "Evaluate the Effectiveness of Manager Compensation," International Journal of Business and Economics, College of Business and College of Finance, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan, vol. 11(1), pages 25-44, June.
    5. Øystein Foros & Hans Jarle Kind, 2017. "Upstream Partnerships among Competitors when Size Matters," CESifo Working Paper Series 6512, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Sahuguet, Nicolas & Walckiers, Alexis, 2013. "Selling to a cartel of retailers: a model of hub-and-spoke collusion," CEPR Discussion Papers 9385, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. repec:bla:jemstr:v:26:y:2017:i:4:p:923-954 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Markus Reisinger & Tim Paul Thomes, 2017. "Manufacturer collusion: Strategic implications of the channel structure," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 923-954, December.
    9. repec:eee:indorg:v:53:y:2017:i:c:p:99-113 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Chris Doyle & Martijn Han, 2014. "Cartelization Through Buyer Groups," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 44(3), pages 255-275, May.
    11. Salvatore Piccolo & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2014. "Debt, Managers and Cartels," CSEF Working Papers 365, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    12. Normann, Hans-Theo & Rösch, Jürgen & Schultz, Luis Manuel, 2015. "Do buyer groups facilitate collusion?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 72-84.
    13. Chris Doyle & Martijn A. Han, 2012. "Cartelization Through Buyer Groups," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2012-059, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    14. Biancini, Sara & Ettinger, David, 2017. "Vertical integration and downstream collusion," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 99-113.
    15. Yaron Yehezkel, 2014. "Motivating a Supplier to Test Product Quality," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 309-345, June.
    16. S. Bolatto & L. Lambertini, 2017. "Collusive Vertical Relations," Working Papers wp1103, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    17. Normann, Hans-Theo & Rösch, Jürgen & Schultz, Luis Manuel, 2014. "Do buyer groups facilitate collusion?," DICE Discussion Papers 74 [rev.], University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    18. Chrysovalantou Milliou & Apostolis Pavlou, 2014. "Foreign Direct Investment Modes and Local Backward Linkages," CESifo Working Paper Series 4623, CESifo Group Munich.
    19. Isabel Teichmann & Vanessa von Schlippenbach, 2014. "Collusive Effects of a Monopolist's Use of an Intermediary to Deliver to Retailers," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1440, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts

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