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Cartels, Profits and Excess Capacity


  • Osborne, Martin J
  • Pitchik, Carolyn


A model of a collusive duopoly in which each firm has limited capacity is studied. The negotiated output quotas depend on the bargaining power of the firms, which derives from the damage the firms can do by cutting prices. For fixed capacities, the unit profit of the small firm is at least as large as that of the large firm, and the relative position of the small firm is better when demand is low. When the capacities can be chosen once-and-for-all, there is excess capacity in equilibrium so long as the cost of capacity is not too high. Copyright 1987 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Osborne, Martin J & Pitchik, Carolyn, 1987. "Cartels, Profits and Excess Capacity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(2), pages 413-428, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:28:y:1987:i:2:p:413-28

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Emmanuel Dechenaux & Dan Kovenock, 2011. "Endogenous rationing, price dispersion and collusion in capacity constrained supergames," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 47(1), pages 29-74, May.
    2. repec:sbe:breart:v:22:y:2002:i:1:a:2743 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Hongbin Cai & Uday Rajan, 2005. "Incentive Compatible Collusion and Investment," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 6(1), pages 37-52, May.
    4. Dewenter, Ralf & Haucap, Justus & Wenzel, Tobias, 2011. "Semi-collusion in media markets," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 92-98, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Tay-Cheng Ma, 2005. "Strategic investment and excess capacity: A study of the Taiwanese flour industry," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 8, pages 153-170, May.
    7. Christian Lorenz, 2008. "Screening markets for cartel detection: collusive markers in the CFD cartel-audit," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 213-232, October.
    8. Kühn, Kai-Uwe & Van Reenen, John, 2008. "Capacity constraints and irreversible investments: defending against collective dominance in UPM Kymmene/Norske Skog/Haindl," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4437, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Steen, Frode & Sorgard, Lars, 1999. "Semicollusion in the Norwegian cement market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(9), pages 1775-1796, October.
    10. Aniruddha Bagchi & Arijit Mukherjee, 2011. "Commitment and excess capacity with licensing: an old debate with a new look," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 103(2), pages 133-147, June.
    11. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr, 2005. "Detecting Cartels," Economics Working Paper Archive 526, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    12. Michel Glais, 2000. "L'utilisation des travaux de la nouvelle économie industrielle par les autorités de la concurrence," Cahiers d'Économie Politique, Programme National Persée, vol. 37(1), pages 197-223.
    13. Wu, Wei-Ming, 2009. "An approach for measuring the optimal fleet capacity: Evidence from the container shipping lines in Taiwan," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 118-126, November.
    14. Phlips, Louis, 1996. "On the detection of collusion and predation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 495-510, April.
    15. Anderson, E.J. & Cau, T.D.H., 2011. "Implicit collusion and individual market power in electricity markets," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 211(2), pages 403-414, June.

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