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Alliance Formation in a Vertically Differentiated Market

Author

Listed:
  • Jean J. Gabszewicz

    (CORE Université Catholique de Louvain)

  • Marco A. Marini

    (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza")

  • Ornella Tarola

    (Dipartimento di Scienze sociali ed economiche, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza")

Abstract

This paper studies how the possibility for firms to sign collusive agreements (as for instance being part of alliances, cartels and mergers) may affect their quality and price choice in a market with vertically differentiated goods. For this purpose we model the firm decisions as a three-stage game in which, at the first stage, firms can form an alliance via a sequential game of coalition formation and, at the second and third stage, they decide simultaneously their product qualities and prices, respectively. In such a setting we study whether there exist circumstances under which either full or partial collusion can be sustained as a subgame perfect Nash equilibrium of the coalition formation game. Also, we analyse the effects of different coalition structures on equilibrium qualities, prices and profits accruing to firms. It is shown that only intermediate coalition structures arise at the equilibrium, with the bottom quality firm always included. Moreover, all equilibrium price and quality configurations always coincide with that observed in the duopoly case, with only two quality variants on sale.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean J. Gabszewicz & Marco A. Marini & Ornella Tarola, 2015. "Alliance Formation in a Vertically Differentiated Market," DIAG Technical Reports 2015-06, Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza".
  • Handle: RePEc:aeg:report:2015-06
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marco A. Marini, 2018. "Collusive agreements in vertically differentiated markets," Chapters, in: Luis C. Corchón & Marco A. Marini (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory and Industrial Organization, Volume II, chapter 3, pages 34-56, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Jean J. Gabszewicz & Marco A. Marini & Ornella Tarola, 2016. "Vertical Differentiation and Collusion: Cannibalization or Proliferation?," Working Papers 2016.15, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    3. Gabszewicz, Jean J. & Marini, Marco A. & Tarola, Ornella, 2016. "Core existence in vertically differentiated markets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 28-32.
    4. Gabszewicz, Jean J. & Marini, Marco A. & Tarola, Ornella, 2017. "Vertical differentiation and collusion: Pruning or proliferation?," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 129-139.
    5. Jean J. Gabszewicz & Marco A. Marini & Ornella Tarola, 2016. "Vertical Differentiation and Collusion: Cannibalization or Proliferation?," Working Papers 2016.15, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Vertically differentiated market ; endogenous alliance formation ; coalition structures ; price collusion ; grand coalition ; coalition stability ; sequential games of coalition formation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices

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