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The Sugar Institute Learns to Organize Information Exchange

In: Learning by Doing in Markets, Firms, and Countries

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  • David Genesove
  • Wallace Mullin

Abstract

This paper describes information exchange under the Sugar Institute, the trade association of U.S. domestic sugar cane refiners, between 1928 and 1936. The Institute collected production and delivery data from the individual firms and returned it to them in aggregated form. Attempts to exchange sales data were stymied by the larger firms. Surprisingly, there is no indication of mis-reporting of statistics by Institute members, although statistics were, at times, withheld. The paper concentrates on the evolution of the Institute. Proposals for successor organizations show that a workable mechanism required greater discretion to the central authority and greater voting rights to the larger firms.
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Suggested Citation

  • David Genesove & Wallace Mullin, 1999. "The Sugar Institute Learns to Organize Information Exchange," NBER Chapters,in: Learning by Doing in Markets, Firms, and Countries, pages 103-144 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10231
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Green, Edward J & Porter, Robert H, 1984. "Noncooperative Collusion under Imperfect Price Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 87-100, January.
    2. Christina D. Romer, 1990. "The Great Crash and the Onset of the Great Depression," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 597-624.
    3. Creane, Anthony, 1998. "Risk and Revelation: Changing the Value of Information," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(258), pages 247-261, May.
    4. George Stigler, 2010. "Theory of Oligopoly," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International.
    5. Alison J. Kirby, 1988. "Trade Associations as Information Exchange Mechanisms," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, pages 138-146.
    6. Alfred D. Chandler, 1969. "Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the American Industrial Enterprise," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262530090, January.
    7. Ellison, Sara Fisher & Mullin, Wallace P, 1995. "Economics and Politics: The Case of Sugar Tariff Reform," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 335-366, October.
    8. William Novshek & Hugo Sonnenschein, 1982. "Fulfilled Expectations Cournot Duopoly with Information Acquisition and Release," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(1), pages 214-218, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lee, Gea M., 2010. "Optimal collusion with internal contracting," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, pages 646-669.
    2. Fabio Panetta & Fabiano Schivardi & Matthew Shum, 2009. "Do Mergers Improve Information? Evidence from the Loan Market," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(4), pages 673-709, June.
    3. Goltsman, Maria & Pavlov, Gregory, 2014. "Communication in Cournot oligopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 152-176.
    4. Martin, Stephen, 2006. "Competition policy, collusion, and tacit collusion," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, pages 1299-1332.
    5. Dye, Alan & Sicotte, Richard, 2006. "How brinkmanship saved Chadbourne: Credibility and the International Sugar Agreement of 1931," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 223-256, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B00 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - General - - - History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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