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Collusion with capacity constraints over the business cycle

  • Fabra, Natalia

This paper investigates the effect of capacity constraints on the sustainability of collusion in markets subject to cyclical demand fluctuations. In the absence of capacity constraints (i.e. a limiting case of our model), Haltiwanger and Harrington (1991) show that firms find it more difficult to collude during periods of decreasing demand. We find that this prediction can be overturned if firms' capacities are sufficiently small. Capacity constraints imply that punishment profits move procyclically, so that periods of increasing demand may lead to lower losses from cheating even if collusive profits are rising. Haltiwanger and Harrington's main prediction remains valid for su±ciently large capacities.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 24 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 69-81

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:24:y:2006:i:1:p:69-81
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  1. Severin Boreinstein & Andrea Shepard, 1996. "Dynamic Pricing in Retail Gasoline Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(3), pages 429-451, Autumn.
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  8. Osborne, Martin J. & Pitchik, Carolyn, 1983. "Price Competition in a Capacity-Constrained Duopoly," Working Papers 83-08, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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  10. Cowling, Keith, 1983. "Excess Capacity and the Degree of Collusion: Oligopoly Behaviour in the Slump," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 51(4), pages 341-59, December.
  11. Compte, Olivier & Jenny, Frederic & Rey, Patrick, 2002. "Capacity constraints, mergers and collusion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-29, January.
  12. Iwand, Thomas & Rosenbaum, David I., 1991. "Pricing strategies in supergames with capacity constraints : Some evidence from the U.S. portland cement industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 497-511, December.
  13. 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.
  14. Rosenbaum, David I., 1989. "An empirical test of the effect of excess capacity in price setting, capacity-constrained supergames," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 231-241, June.
  15. repec:oup:restud:v:54:y:1987:i:3:p:385-97 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. repec:oup:restud:v:58:y:1991:i:1:p:171-80 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Carl Davidson & Raymond Deneckere, 1986. "Long-Run Competition in Capacity, Short-Run Competition in Price, and the Cournot Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 404-415, Autumn.
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