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Stable cartels revisited

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  • Effrosyni Diamantoudi

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Abstract

This paper analyzes cartel stability when firms are farsighted. It studies a price leadership model á la D’ Aspremont et al. (1983), where the dominant cartel acts as a leader by determining the market price, while the fringe behaves competitively. According to D’ Aspremont et al. ‘s (1983) approach a cartel is stable if no firm has an incentive to either enter or exit the cartel. In deciding whether to deviate or not, a firm compares its status quo with the outcome its unilateral deviation induces. However, the firm fails to examine whether the induced outcome will indeed become the new status quo that will determine its profits. Although the firm anticipates the price adjustment following its deviation, it ignores the possibility that more firms may exit (or enter) the cartel. In other words, the firm does not consider the fact that the outcome immediately induced by its deviation may not be stable itself. We propose a notion of cartel stability that allows firms to fully foresee the result of their deviation. Our solution concept is built in the spirit of von Neumann and Morgenstern’s (1944) stable set, while it modifies the dominance relation following Harsanyi’s (1974) criticism. We show that there always exists a unique, non-empty set of stable cartels. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Effrosyni Diamantoudi, 2005. "Stable cartels revisited," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 26(4), pages 907-921, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:26:y:2005:i:4:p:907-921 DOI: 10.1007/s00199-004-0550-0
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Licun Xue, 1998. "Coalitional stability under perfect foresight," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), pages 603-627.
    2. Donsimoni, Marie-Paule, 1985. "Stable heterogeneous cartels," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 451-467, December.
    3. Rothschild, R., 1998. "On the limits to the growth of coalitions by means of transfers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 251-262, February.
    4. Claude d'Aspremont & Alexis Jacquemin & Jean Jaskold Gabszewicz & John A. Weymark, 1983. "On the Stability of Collusive Price Leadership," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 16(1), pages 17-25, February.
    5. Prokop, Jacek, 1999. "Process of dominant-cartel formation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 241-257, February.
    6. Donsimoni, Marie-Paule & Economides, Nicholas S & Polemarchakis, Herakles M, 1986. "Stable Cartels," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(2), pages 317-327, June.
    7. John C. Harsanyi, 1974. "An Equilibrium-Point Interpretation of Stable Sets and a Proposed Alternative Definition," Management Science, INFORMS, pages 1472-1495.
    8. R.Rothschild, "undated". "The Stability Of Dominant-Group Cartels," Working Papers ec5/92, Department of Economics, University of Lancaster.
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    Cited by:

    1. John K. Stranlund & James J. Murphy & John M. Spraggon, 2013. "Imperfect enforcement of emissions trading and industry welfare: a laboratory investigation," Chapters,in: Handbook on Experimental Economics and the Environment, chapter 9, pages 265-288 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. David M. McEvoy & James J. Murphy & John M. Spraggon & John K. Stranlund, 2011. "The problem of maintaining compliance within stable coalitions: experimental evidence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(3), pages 475-498, July.
    3. Marc Escrihuela-Villar, 2009. "A note on cartel stability and endogenous sequencing with tacit collusion," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 96(2), pages 137-147, March.
    4. David M. McEvoy & John K. Stranlund, 2006. "Enforcing ‘Self-Enforcing’ International Environmental Agreements," Working Papers 2006-6, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
    5. Prokop, Jacek, 2011. "Powstawanie i stabilność karteli heterogenicznych
      [The emergence and stability of heterogeneous cartels]
      ," MPRA Paper 43712, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Yoshio Kamijo & Shigeo Muto, 2010. "Farsighted Coalitional Stability Of A Price Leadership Cartel," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 61(4), pages 455-465, December.
    7. David M. McEvoy & John K. Stranlund, 2006. "Enforcing ‘Self-Enforcing’ International Environmental Agreements," Working Papers 2006-6, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
    8. Yoshio Kamijo, 2013. "Stability and efficiency in perfect foresight situation," Theory and Decision, Springer, pages 339-357.
    9. Michèle Breton & Michel Keoula, 2012. "Farsightedness in a Coalitional Great Fish War," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, pages 297-315.
    10. Xiao Luo, 2009. "On the foundation of stability," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), pages 185-201.
    11. Thoron, Sylvie, 2004. "Which acceptable agreements are equilibria?," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 111-134, January.
    12. David M. McEvoy & John K. Stranlund, 2007. "Costly Enforcement of Voluntary Environmental Agreements with Industries," Working Papers 2007-11, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
    13. BENCHEKROUN, Hassan & XUE, Licun, 2005. "Cartel Stability in a Dynamic Oligopoly," Cahiers de recherche 14-2005, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    14. Sheng-Chieh Huang & Xiao Luo, 2008. "Stability, sequential rationality, and subgame consistency," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), pages 309-329.
    15. repec:spr:jogath:v:46:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s00182-016-0527-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Kawasaki, Ryo, 2015. "Maximin, minimax, and von Neumann–Morgenstern farsighted stable sets," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 8-12.
    17. Johannes Paha, 2010. "Simulation and Prosecution of a Cartel with Endogenous Cartel Formation," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201007, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

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