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Fighting Collusion by Permitting Price Discrimination

Author

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  • Magdalena Helfrich
  • Fabian Herweg

Abstract

We investigate the effect of a ban on third-degree price discrimination on the sustainability of collusion. We build a model with two firms that may be able to discriminate between two consumer groups. Two cases are analyzed: (i) Best-response symmetries so that profits in the static Nash equilibrium are higher if price discrimination is allowed. (ii) Best-response asymmetries so that profits in the static Nash equilibrium are lower if price discrimination is allowed. In both cases, firms’ discount factor has to be higher in order to sustain collusion in grim-trigger strategies under price discrimination than under uniform pricing.

Suggested Citation

  • Magdalena Helfrich & Fabian Herweg, 2016. "Fighting Collusion by Permitting Price Discrimination," CESifo Working Paper Series 5786, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5786
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Monika Schnitzer, 1994. "Dynamic Duopoly with Best-Price Clauses," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 186-196, Spring.
    2. Kenneth S. Corts, 1998. "Third-Degree Price Discrimination in Oligopoly: All-Out Competition and Strategic Commitment," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(2), pages 306-323, Summer.
    3. Thomas E. Cooper, 1986. "Most-Favored-Customer Pricing and Tacit Collusion," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 377-388, Autumn.
    4. Colombo, Stefano, 2010. "Product differentiation, price discrimination and collusion," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 18-27, March.
    5. Stefano Colombo, 2010. "A note on information of firms and collusion," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(2), pages 1603-1608.
    6. Thisse, Jacques-Francois & Vives, Xavier, 1988. "On the Strategic Choice of Spatial Price Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 122-137, March.
    7. Holmes, Thomas J, 1989. "The Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 244-250, March.
    8. Severin Borenstein, 1985. "Price Discrimination in Free-Entry Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(3), pages 380-397, Autumn.
    9. Jihui Chen & Qihong Liu, 2011. "The Effect Of Most‐Favored Customer Clauses On Prices," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 343-371, September.
    10. Stefano Colombo, 2009. "Sustainability of collusion with imperfect price discrimination and inelastic demand functions," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(3), pages 1687-1694.
    11. Liu, Qihong & Serfes, Konstantinos, 2007. "Market segmentation and collusive behavior," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 355-378, April.
    12. Stole, Lars A., 2007. "Price Discrimination and Competition," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    collusion; duopoly; grim-trigger strategies; third-degree price discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • 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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