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Cooperation without coordination: signaling, types and tacit collusion in laboratory oligopolies

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  • Douglas Davis

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  • Oleg Korenok

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  • Robert Reilly

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Abstract

We study the effects of price signaling activity and underlying propensities to cooperate on tacit collusion in posted offer markets. The primary experiment consists of an extensively repeated baseline sequence and a 'forecast' sequence that adds to the baseline a forecasting game that allows identification of signaling intentions. Forecast sequence results indicate that signaling intentions considerably exceed those that are counted under a standard signal measure based on previous period prices. Nevertheless, we find essentially no correlation between either measure of signal volumes and collusive efficiency. A second experiment demonstrates that underlying seller propensities to cooperate more clearly affect collusiveness.
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Suggested Citation

  • Douglas Davis & Oleg Korenok & Robert Reilly, 2010. "Cooperation without coordination: signaling, types and tacit collusion in laboratory oligopolies," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(1), pages 45-65, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:13:y:2010:i:1:p:45-65
    DOI: 10.1007/s10683-009-9228-6
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10683-009-9228-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Douglas D. Davis & Oleg Korenok, 2009. "Posted Offer Markets In Near-Continuous Time: An Experimental Investigation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(3), pages 449-466, July.
    2. Durham, Yvonne & McCabe, Kevin & Olson, Mark A. & Rassenti, Stephen & Smith, Vernon, 2004. "Oligopoly competition in fixed cost environments," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 147-162, February.
    3. Smith, Vernon L & Suchanek, Gerry L & Williams, Arlington W, 1988. "Bubbles, Crashes, and Endogenous Expectations in Experimental Spot Asset Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1119-1151, September.
    4. Nathaniel T. Wilcox & Nick Feltovich, 2000. "Thinking Like a Game Theorist: Comment," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-30, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    5. Croson, Rachel T. A., 2000. "Thinking like a game theorist: factors affecting the frequency of equilibrium play," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 299-314, March.
    6. Gunnthorsdottir, Anna & Houser, Daniel & McCabe, Kevin, 2007. "Disposition, history and contributions in public goods experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 304-315, February.
    7. Roberto Burlando & Francesco Guala, 2005. "Heterogeneous Agents in Public Goods Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 8(1), pages 35-54, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Davis, Douglas, 2009. "Pure numbers effects, market power, and tacit collusion in posted offer markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 475-488, October.
    2. Douglas Davis & Asen Ivanov & Oleg Korenok, 2016. "Individual characteristics and behavior in repeated games: an experimental study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(1), pages 67-99, March.
    3. Chen, Gang & Rytter, Niels G.M. & Jiang, Liping & Nielsen, Peter & Jensen, Lars, 2017. "Pre-announcements of price increase intentions in liner shipping spot markets," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 109-125.
    4. repec:kap:expeco:v:20:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10683-017-9517-4 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Experiments; Tacit collusion; Price signaling; Types; C9; L11; L13;

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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