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Cartel Size and Collusive Stability with Non-Capitalistic Players

  • F. Delbono
  • L. Lambertini

A well established belief both in the game-theoretic IO and in policy debates is that market concentration facilitates collusion. We show that this piece of conventional wisdom relies upon the assumption of profit-seeking behaviour, for it may be reversed when firms pursue other plausible goals. To illustrate our intuition, we investigate the incentives to tacit collusion in an industry formed by Labor-Managed (LM) enterprises. We characterize the perfect equilibrium of a supergame in which LM firms play an infinitely repeated Cournot game. We show that the critical threshold of the discount factor above which collusion is stable (i) is lower in the LM industry than in the capitalistic one; (ii) monotonically decreases with the number of firms.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number wp948.

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Date of creation: May 2014
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp948
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  1. Delbono, Flavio & Rossini, Gianpaolo, 1992. "Competition policy vs horizontal merger with public, entrepreneurial, and labor-managed firms," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 226-240, June.
  2. F. Delbono & C. Reggiani, 2013. "Cooperative firms and the crisis: evidence from some Italian mixed oligopolies," Working Papers wp884, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  3. Hill, Martyn & Waterson, Michael, 1983. "Labor-managed Cournot oligopoly and industry output," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 43-51, March.
  4. Abreu, Dilip, 1986. "Extremal equilibria of oligopolistic supergames," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 191-225, June.
  5. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, June.
  6. Friedman, James W, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(113), pages 1-12, January.
  7. Ivaldi, Marc & Jullien, Bruno & Rey, Patrick & Seabright, Paul & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "The Economics of Tacit Collusion," IDEI Working Papers 186, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
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