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Product differentiation, price discrimination and collusion

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  • Colombo, Stefano

Abstract

The existing literature which analyses the relationship between the product differentiation degree and the sustainability of a collusive agreement on price assumes that firms cannot price discriminate, and concludes that there is a negative relationship between the product differentiation degree and the critical discount factor. This paper, in contrast, assumes that firms are able to price discriminate. Within the Hotelling framework, three different collusive schemes are studied: perfect collusion on discriminatory prices; perfect collusion on a uniform price; collusion not to discriminate. We obtain that the critical discount factor of the first and the third collusive scheme does not depend on the product differentiation degree, while the critical discount factor of the second collusive scheme depends positively on the product differentiation degree. Moreover, we show that imperfect collusion is more difficult to sustain than perfect collusion.

Suggested Citation

  • Colombo, Stefano, 2010. "Product differentiation, price discrimination and collusion," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 18-27, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:reecon:v:64:y:2010:i:1:p:18-27
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    10. Albaek, Svend & Lambertini, Luca, 1998. "Collusion in differentiated duopolies revisited," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 305-308, June.
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    12. Chang, Myong-Hun, 1991. "The effects of product differentiation on collusive pricing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 453-469, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Colombo, Stefano, 2013. "Cartels in the unidirectional Hotelling model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 690-696.
    2. Helfrich, Magdalena & Herweg, Fabian, 2016. "Fighting collusion by permitting price discrimination," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 148-151.
    3. Colombo, Stefano, 2012. "An indifference result concerning collusion in spatial frameworks," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 18-21.
    4. Stefano Colombo, 2011. "Pricing Policy and Partial Collusion," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 325-349, December.
    5. Stefano Colombo, 2011. "Spatially asymmetric firms and the sustainability of a price agreement," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(3), pages 2414-2421.
    6. Stefano Colombo, 2012. "Collusion in two models of spatial competition with quantity-setting firms," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 48(1), pages 45-69, February.
    7. Stefano Colombo, 2012. "Colluding on a Price Increase," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 365-371, December.
    8. Rasch, Alexander & Gössl, Florian, 2016. "The scope for collusion under different pricing schemes," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145759, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Horizontal differentiation Price discrimination Tacit collusion;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices

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