IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Collusion in experimental Bertrand duopolies with convex costs: The role of cost asymmetry

  • Argenton, Cédric
  • Müller, Wieland

Theory, experimental studies, as well as antitrust guidelines suggest that symmetry among firms is conducive to more collusive outcomes. We test this perception in a series of experimental repeated Bertrand duopolies where firms have convex costs. We implement symmetric as well as asymmetric markets that vary in their degree of cost asymmetry among firms. We find no evidence of symmetric markets being more prone to collusion than asymmetric markets. If anything, asymmetry helps firms coordinate on higher prices and achieve higher profits.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167718712000653
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

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

Volume (Year): 30 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 508-517

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:30:y:2012:i:6:p:508-517
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Kübler, D. & Müller, W., 2002. "Simultaneous and sequential price competition on heterogeneous duopoly markets : Experimental evidence," Other publications TiSEM f2d9029e-d44e-48af-8187-f, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  2. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 1999. "Learning in Cournot Oligopoly--An Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages C80-95, March.
  3. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521016919 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Apesteguia, Jose & Huck, Steffen & Oechssler, Jorg, 2007. "Imitation--theory and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 217-235, September.
  5. Jeanine Thal, 2005. "Optimal Collusion under Cost Asymmetry," Working Papers 2005-36, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  6. Dufwenberg, Martin & Gneezy, Uri, 2000. "Price competition and market concentration: an experimental study," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 7-22, January.
  7. Steffen Huck & Hans-Theo Normann & Jörg Oechssler, 2001. "Two are Few and Four are Many: Number Effects in Experimental Oligopolies," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse12_2001, University of Bonn, Germany.
  8. Altavilla, Carlo & Luini, Luigi & Sbriglia, Patrizia, 2006. "Social learning in market games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 632-652, December.
  9. Davies, Stephen & Olczak, Matthew & Coles, Heather, 2011. "Tacit collusion, firm asymmetries and numbers: Evidence from EC merger cases," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 221-231, March.
  10. Rothschild, R., 1999. "Cartel stability when costs are heterogeneous," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 717-734, July.
  11. 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 767-92, November.
  12. Dixon, Huw, 1990. "Bertrand-Edgeworth Equilibria when Firms Avoid Turning Customers Away," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(2), pages 131-46, December.
  13. Carl Davidson & Raymond Deneckere, 1984. "Excess Capacity and Collusion," Discussion Papers 675, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  14. Charles F. Mason & Owen R. Phillips, 1997. "Information And Cost Asymmetry In Experimental Duopoly Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(2), pages 290-299, May.
  15. Abbink, Klaus & Brandts, Jordi, 2008. "24. Pricing in Bertrand competition with increasing marginal costs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 1-31, May.
  16. Dastidar, Krishnendu Ghosh, 1995. "On the Existence of Pure Strategy Bertrand Equilibrium," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 19-32, January.
  17. Mason, Charles F & Phillips, Owen R & Nowell, Clifford, 1992. "Duopoly Behavior in Asymmetric Markets: An Experimental Evaluation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(4), pages 662-70, November.
  18. Ana B. Ania & Carlos Alós-Ferrer & Klaus R. Schenk-Hoppé, 1998. "- An Evolutionary Model Of Bertrand Oligopoly," Working Papers. Serie AD 1998-14, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  19. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521816632 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Andreoni, J. & Miller, J.H., 1991. "Rational Cooperative in the Finitely Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma: Experimental Evidence," Working papers 9102, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  21. Offerman, T.J.S. & Potters, J.J.M. & Sonnemans, J., 2002. "Imitation and belief learning in an oligopoly experiment," Other publications TiSEM a6a771c5-31ba-4193-8f76-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  22. Bruttel, Lisa V., 2009. "Group dynamics in experimental studies--The Bertrand Paradox revisited," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 51-63, January.
  23. Christoph Engel, 2006. "How Much Collusion. A Meta-Analysis On Oligopoly Experiments," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2006_27, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  24. Keser, Claudia, 2000. "Cooperation in symmetric duopolies with demand inertia," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 23-38, January.
  25. MiguelA. Fonseca & Hans-Theo Normann, 2008. "Mergers, Asymmetries and Collusion: Experimental Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(527), pages 387-400, 03.
  26. Catherine D. Wolfram, 1998. "Strategic Bidding in a Multiunit Auction: An Empirical Analysis of Bids to Supply Electricity in England and Wales," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(4), pages 703-725, Winter.
  27. Andersson, Ola & Argenton, Cédric & Weibull, Jörgen, 2010. "Robustness to strategic uncertainty in price competition," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 0726, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 08 Apr 2010.
  28. Weibull, Jörgen, 2006. "Price competition and convex costs," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 622, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 23 Feb 2006.
  29. Hoernig, Steffen H., 2002. "Mixed Bertrand equilibria under decreasing returns to scale: an embarrassment of riches," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 359-362, February.
  30. Mailath, George J. & Samuelson, Larry, 2006. "Repeated Games and Reputations: Long-Run Relationships," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195300796, March.
  31. Benoit, Jean-Pierre & Krishna, Vijay, 1985. "Finitely Repeated Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(4), pages 905-22, July.
  32. Boone, Jan & Larraín Aylwin, María Jose & Müller, Wieland & Ray Chaudhuri, Amrita, 2012. "Bertrand competition with asymmetric costs: Experimental evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 134-137.
  33. Abreu, Dilip, 1986. "Extremal equilibria of oligopolistic supergames," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 191-225, June.
  34. Selten, Reinhard & Stoecker, Rolf, 1986. "End behavior in sequences of finite Prisoner's Dilemma supergames A learning theory approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 47-70, March.
  35. Dufwenberg, Martin & Gneezy, Uri, 2002. "Information disclosure in auctions: an experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 431-444, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:30:y:2012:i:6:p:508-517. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.