When Are Cartels Stable Contracts?
Why do some industry cartels survive for decades while others are quickly undermined by price wars and entry? Variation in cartels' longevity can be explained by differences in their costs of self-enforcement and service value to members. Analyzing legal cartel contracts formed under the Webb-Pomerene Export Trade Act, I find that longer-lived cartels tended to export to small buyers, to have wide industry coverage, to operate in periods of stable prices and growing demand and to sell under side agreements with foreign competitors. Contracts in which the cartel centralized its control through a common sales agency tended to be more stable. However, cartels usually grew less stable with age and when there was a recent and long history of cartelization in the industry. Finally, cartels whose primary rationale was to fix price tended to be particularly unstable because these contracts invited fringe competition and entry. Copyright 1996 by the University of Chicago.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Douglas W. Allen & Dean Lueck, 1993. "Transaction Costs and the Design of Cropshare Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(1), pages 78-100, Spring.
- Lambson, Val Eugene, 1984. "Self-enforcing collusion in large dynamic markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 282-291, December.
- Larson, David A, 1970. "An Economic Analysis of the Webb-Pomerene Act," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 461-500, October.
- Hay, George A & Kelley, Daniel, 1974. "An Empirical Survey of Price Fixing Conspiracies," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 13-38, April.
- Fraas, Arthur G & Greer, Douglas F, 1977. "Market Structure and Price Collusion: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 21-44, September.
- Green, Edward J., 1980. "Noncooperative price taking in large dynamic markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 155-182, April.
- Asch, Peter & Seneca, Joseph J, 1975. "Characteristics of Collusive Firms," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 223-237, March.
- Robert H. Porter, 1983. "A Study of Cartel Stability: The Joint Executive Committee, 1880-1886," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 301-314, Autumn.
- Asch, Peter & Seneca, J J, 1976. "Is Collusion Profitable?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 58(1), pages 1-12, February.
- B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1990. "Multimarket Contact and Collusive Behavior," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 1-26, Spring.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:39:y:1996:i:1:p:241-83. 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: (Journals Division)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.