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Collusion with Capacity Constraints over the Business Cycle

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  • Fabra, Natlia

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of capacity constraints on the sustainability of collusion in markets subject to cyclical demand fluctuations. In the absence of capacity constraints (i.e. a limiting case of our model), Haltiwanger and Harrington (1991) show that firms find it more difficult to collude during periods of decreasing demand. We find that this prediction can be overturned if firms' capacities are sufficiently small. Capacity constraints imply that punishment profits move procyclically, so that periods of increasing demand may lead to lower losses from cheating even if collusive profits are rising. Haltiwanger and Harrington's main prediction remains valid for su±ciently large capacities.
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(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Fabra, Natlia, 2003. "Collusion with Capacity Constraints over the Business Cycle," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1cv2d2ww, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:econwp:qt1cv2d2ww
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Val Eugene Lambson, 1987. "Optimal Penal Codes in Price-setting Supergames with Capacity Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(3), pages 385-397.
    2. Carl Davidson & Raymond Deneckere, 1986. "Long-Run Competition in Capacity, Short-Run Competition in Price, and the Cournot Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 404-415, Autumn.
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    5. Cowling, Keith, 1983. "Excess Capacity and the Degree of Collusion: Oligopoly Behaviour in the Slump," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 51(4), pages 341-359, December.
    6. Kyle Bagwell & Robert Staiger, 1997. "Collusion Over the Business Cycle," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(1), pages 82-106, Spring.
    7. Compte, Olivier & Jenny, Frederic & Rey, Patrick, 2002. "Capacity constraints, mergers and collusion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-29, January.
    8. William A. Brock & José A. Scheinkman, 1985. "Price Setting Supergames with Capacity Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(3), pages 371-382.
    9. Osborne, Martin J. & Pitchik, Carolyn, 1986. "Price competition in a capacity-constrained duopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 238-260, April.
    10. Rotemberg, Julio J & Woodford, Michael, 1992. "Oligopolistic Pricing and the Effects of Aggregate Demand on Economic Activity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1153-1207, December.
    11. Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1986. "A Supergame-Theoretic Model of Price Wars during Booms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 390-407, June.
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    13. Iwand, Thomas & Rosenbaum, David I., 1991. "Pricing strategies in supergames with capacity constraints : Some evidence from the U.S. portland cement industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 497-511, December.
    14. repec:adr:anecst:y:1989:i:15-16:p:12 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Rosenbaum, David I., 1989. "An empirical test of the effect of excess capacity in price setting, capacity-constrained supergames," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 231-241, June.
    16. Rosenbaum, David I. & Sukharomana, Supachat, 2001. "Oligopolistic pricing over the deterministic market demand cycle: some evidence from the US Portland cement industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 863-884, May.
    17. David M. Kreps & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1983. "Quantity Precommitment and Bertrand Competition Yield Cournot Outcomes," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 326-337, Autumn.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. L. Lambertini & L. Marattin, 2016. "On Prices' Cyclical Behaviour in Oligopolistic Markets," Working Papers wp1064, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    2. Swoboda, Sandra Maria, 2017. "Einfluss ausgewählter Determinanten auf die Kartellbildung und -stabilität: Eine Literaturstudie," Arbeitspapiere 176, University of Münster, Institute for Cooperatives.
    3. Luke Garrod & Matthew Olczak, 2017. "Collusion Under Imperfect Monitoring with Asymmetric Firms," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 654-682, September.
    4. Johannes Paha, 2013. "The Impact of Persistent Shocks and Concave Objective Functions on Collusive Behavior," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201328, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    5. Gugler, Klaus & Weichselbaumer, Michael & Zulehner, Christine, 2015. "Competition in the economic crisis: Analysis of procurement auctions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 35-57.
    6. João Correia-da-Silva & Joana Pinho & Hélder Vasconcelos, 2016. "Sustaining collusion in markets with entry driven by balanced growth," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 118(1), pages 1-34, May.
    7. Federico Boffa & Carlo Scarpa, 2009. "An Anticompetitive Effect of Eliminating Transport Barriers in Network Markets," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 34(2), pages 115-133, March.
    8. Yossi Spiegel & Konrad O. Stahl, 2014. "Industry Structure and Pricing over the Business Cycle," CESifo Working Paper Series 4848, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Jun Zhou, 2016. "The dynamics of leniency application and the knock-on effect of cartel enforcement," Working Papers 13042, Bruegel.
    10. Jun Zhou, 2016. "The Rise and Fall of Cartels with Multi-market Colluders," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 48(4), pages 381-403, June.
    11. repec:bla:jindec:v:64:y:2016:i:4:p:808-834 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. João Correia-da-Silva & Joana Pinho & Hélder Vasconcelos, 2014. "Sustaining collusion in markets with a general evolution of demand," FEP Working Papers 537, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    13. Knittel, Christopher R. & Lepore, Jason J., 2010. "Tacit collusion in the presence of cyclical demand and endogenous capacity levels," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 131-144, March.
    14. repec:eee:indorg:v:55:y:2017:i:c:p:182-189 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Spiegel, Yossi & Stahl, Konrad, 2014. "Industry structure and pricing over the business cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 10009, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. repec:bla:jindec:v:65:y:2017:i:3:p:623-653 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr, 2005. "Detecting Cartels," Economics Working Paper Archive 526, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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