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Sales and Collusion in a Market with Storage

Author

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  • Francesco Nava
  • Pasquale Schiraldi

Abstract

Sales are a widespread and well-known phenomenon that has been documented in several product markets. Regularities in such periodic price reductions appear to suggest that the phenomenon cannot be entirely attributed to random variations in supply, demand, or the aggregate price level. Certain sales are traditional and so well publicized that it is difficult to justify them as devices to separate informed from uninformed consumers. This paper presents a model in which sellers want to reduce prices periodically in order to improve their ability to collude over time. In particular, the study shows that if buyers have heterogeneous storage technologies, periodic sales may facilitate collusion by magnifying intertemporal linking in consumers' decisions. The stability and the profitability of different sale strategies is then explored. The optimal sales discount and timing of sales are characterized. A trade-off between cartel size and aggregate profits arises.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Nava & Pasquale Schiraldi, 2011. "Sales and Collusion in a Market with Storage," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 549, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:stitep:549
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. de Roos, Nicholas & Smirnov, Vladimir, 2019. "Collusion with intertemporal price dispersion," Working Papers 2019-01, University of Sydney, School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Storage; sales; collusion; cartel size; repeated games;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • 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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