IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/indorg/v50y2017icp159-185.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Collusion in a price-quantity oligopoly

Author

Listed:
  • van den Berg, Anita
  • Bos, Iwan

Abstract

In the context of an infinitely repeated oligopoly game, we study collusion among firms that simultaneously choose prices and quantities. We compare a price cartel with a price-quota cartel and analyze when and why firms prefer the latter to the former. Output quota may be required to solve coordination and incentive problems when market demand is sufficiently elastic. If market demand is sufficiently inelastic, then the cartel faces a trade-off between increasing prices and the amount of costly overproduction. We find that a price cartel prices consistently below the monopoly price to mitigate excessive production. In this case, a quota arrangement allows firms to avoid overproduction and to sustain the monopoly price. From a policy perspective, our findings suggest that an overall price increase in conjunction with more stable prices and market shares is indicative of collusion in industries where production precedes sales and outputs are imperfectly observable.

Suggested Citation

  • van den Berg, Anita & Bos, Iwan, 2017. "Collusion in a price-quantity oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 159-185.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:50:y:2017:i:c:p:159-185
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijindorg.2016.12.001
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167718716304039
    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 below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. E. Kwan Choi & Carmen F. Menezes & John H. Tressler, 1985. "A Theory of Price-Fixing Rings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(2), pages 465-478.
    2. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell & Chris Sanchirico, 2004. "Collusion and Price Rigidity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 317-349.
    3. Marhsall, Robert C. & Marx, Leslie M., 2014. "The Economics of Collusion: Cartels and Bidding Rings," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262525941, January.
    4. Tasnadi, Attila, 2006. "Price vs. quantity in oligopoly games," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 541-554, May.
    5. Jean-Pierre Benoit & Vijay Krishna, 1987. "Dynamic Duopoly: Prices and Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(1), pages 23-35.
    6. Green, Edward J & Porter, Robert H, 1984. "Noncooperative Collusion under Imperfect Price Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 87-100, January.
    7. Davidson, Carl & Deneckere, Raymond J, 1990. "Excess Capacity and Collusion," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(3), pages 521-541, August.
    8. Joseph E. Harrington & Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2011. "Private Monitoring and Communication in Cartels: Explaining Recent Collusive Practices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2425-2449, October.
    9. John Connor, 2001. "“Our Customers Are Our Enemies”: The Lysine Cartel of 1992–1995," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 18(1), pages 5-21, February.
    10. Athey, Susan & Bagwell, Kyle, 2001. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 428-465, Autumn.
    11. 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.
    12. James W. Friedman, 1988. "On the Strategic Importance of Prices versus Quantities," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(4), pages 607-622, Winter.
    13. Dixon, Huw David, 1992. "The Competitive Outcome as the Equilibrium in an Edgeworthian Price-Quantity Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(411), pages 301-309, March.
    14. Tasnadi, Attila, 2004. "Production in advance versus production to order," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 191-204, June.
    15. Julio J. Rotemberg & Garth Saloner, 1989. "The Cyclical Behavior of Strategic Inventories," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(1), pages 73-97.
    16. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr, 2006. "How Do Cartels Operate?," Economics Working Paper Archive 531, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    17. van den Berg, Anita & Bos, Iwan & Herings, P. Jean-Jacques & Peters, Hans, 2012. "Dynamic Cournot duopoly with intertemporal capacity constraints," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 174-192.
    18. Lars-Hendrik Röller & Frode Steen, 2006. "On the Workings of a Cartel: Evidence from the Norwegian Cement Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 321-338, March.
    19. Joseph E. Harrington Jr. & Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2007. "Collusion under monitoring of sales," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(2), pages 314-331, June.
    20. Harrington, Joseph E., 2006. "How Do Cartels Operate?," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 2(1), pages 1-105, August.
    21. Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, I: Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 1-26.
    22. Steen, Frode & Sørgard, Lars, 2010. "Semicollusion," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 5(3), pages 153-228, April.
    23. de Roos, Nicolas, 2006. "Examining models of collusion: The market for lysine," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1083-1107, November.
    24. 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.
    25. Chaim Fershtman & Eitan Muller, 1986. "Capital Investments and Price Agreements in Semicollusive Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(2), pages 214-226, Summer.
    26. Philip J. Reny, 1999. "On the Existence of Pure and Mixed Strategy Nash Equilibria in Discontinuous Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(5), pages 1029-1056, September.
    27. Allen, Beth & Hellwig, Martin, 1993. "Bertrand-Edgeworth Duopoly with Proportional Residual Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(1), pages 39-60, February.
    28. Osborne, Dale K, 1976. "Cartel Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 835-844, December.
    29. Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, II: Applications," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 27-41.
    30. Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium with Price-Setting Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 382-386, May.
    31. Johannes Hörner & Julian Jamison, 2007. "Collusion with (almost) no information," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(3), pages 804-822, September.
    32. David M. Kreps & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1983. "Quantity Precommitment and Bertrand Competition Yield Cournot Outcomes," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 326-337, Autumn.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Quan-tao Zhu & Xin-wang Wu & Laixiang Sun, 2014. "A generalized framework for endogenous timing in duopoly games and an application to price-quantity competition," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 112(2), pages 137-164, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cartels; Price-quantity competition; Semi-collusion;

    JEL classification:

    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:50:y:2017:i:c:p:159-185. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551 .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.