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Cartel Stability, Mark-Up Cyclicality and Government Spending Multipliers

  • L. Lambertini
  • L. Marattin

Mark-up cyclical behaviour is relevant in determining the size of government spending multiplier on output. While theoretical literature priviliged the counteryclical hypothesis, empirical evidence is far from being conclusive. Based on seminal Rotemberg and Saloner (1986) contribution, we build a theoretical framework based on Bertrand duopoly, stochastic demand and product differentiation, where the analysis of cartel stability under partial collusion points towards procyclical pricing. According to the intensity of marginal cost cyclicality, this can produce a procyclical mark up or - at least - render it less countercyclical than expected, with relevant effects on the transmission mechanism of government spending stimuli.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number wp820.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp820
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  1. Rothschild, R., 1992. "On the sustainability of collusion in differentiated duopolies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 33-37, September.
  2. Nir Jaimovich, 2004. "Firm Dynamics, Markup Variations, and the Business Cycle," Discussion Papers 07-013, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, revised Mar 2007.
  3. Robert E. Hall, 2009. "By How Much Does GDP Rise If the Government Buys More Output?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 40(2 (Fall)), pages 183-249.
  4. Ian Domowitz & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1986. "Business Cycles and the Relationship Between Concentration and Price-Cost Margins," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 1-17, Spring.
  5. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, June.
  6. Chang, Myong-Hun, 1992. "Intertemporal Product Choice and Its Effects on Collusive Firm Behavior," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(4), pages 773-93, November.
  7. Chang, Myong-Hun, 1991. "The effects of product differentiation on collusive pricing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 453-469, September.
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