IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/2739.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Rules, Communication and Collusion: Narrative Evidence from the Sugar Institute Case

Author

Listed:
  • Genesove, David
  • Mullin, Wallace P

Abstract

Detailed notes on weekly meetings of the sugar-refining cartel show how communication helps firms collude, and so highlight the deficiencies in the current formal theory of collusion. The Sugar Institute did not fix prices or output. Prices were increased by homogenizing business practices to make price cutting more transparent. Meetings were used to interpret and adapt the agreement, coordinate on jointly profitable actions, ensure unilateral actions were not misconstrued as cheating, and determine whether cheating had occurred. In contrast to established theories, cheating did occur, but sparked only limited retaliation, partly due to the contractual relations with selling agents.

Suggested Citation

  • Genesove, David & Mullin, Wallace P, 2001. "Rules, Communication and Collusion: Narrative Evidence from the Sugar Institute Case," CEPR Discussion Papers 2739, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2739
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=2739
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dick, Andrew R, 1996. "When Are Cartels Stable Contracts?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(1), pages 241-283, April.
    2. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell & Chris Sanchirico, 2004. "Collusion and Price Rigidity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 317-349.
    3. Bhaskar, V., 1989. "Quick responses in duopoly ensure monopoly pricing," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 103-107.
    4. Levenstein, Margaret C, 1997. "Price Wars and the Stability of Collusion: A Study of the Pre-World War I Bromine Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 117-137, June.
    5. Drew Fudenberg & David Levine & Eric Maskin, 2008. "The Folk Theorem With Imperfect Public Information," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Drew Fudenberg & David K Levine (ed.), A Long-Run Collaboration On Long-Run Games, chapter 12, pages 231-273, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    6. Green, Edward J & Porter, Robert H, 1984. "Noncooperative Collusion under Imperfect Price Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 87-100, January.
    7. Carlton, Dennis W, 1983. "A Reexamination of Delivered Pricing Systems," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 51-70, April.
    8. Athey, Susan & Bagwell, Kyle, 2001. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 428-465, Autumn.
    9. Laurits Rolf Christensen & Richard E. Caves, 1997. "Cheap Talk and Investment Rivalry in the Pulp and Paper Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 47-73, March.
    10. Christina D. Romer, 1990. "The Great Crash and the Onset of the Great Depression," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 597-624.
    11. Blinder, Alan S, 1991. "Why Are Prices Sticky? Preliminary Results from an Interview Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 89-96, May.
    12. McCutcheon, Barbara, 1997. "Do Meetings in Smoke-Filled Rooms Facilitate Collusion?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 330-350, April.
    13. Olivier Compte, 1998. "Communication in Repeated Games with Imperfect Private Monitoring," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 597-626, May.
    14. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
    15. Margaret C. Levenstein, 1997. "Price Wars and the Stability of Collusion: A Study of the Pre‐World War I Bromine Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 117-137, June.
    16. 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.
    17. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1990. "Multimarket Contact and Collusive Behavior," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 1-26, Spring.
    18. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1986. "Optimal cartel equilibria with imperfect monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 251-269, June.
    19. Katz, Michael L, 1987. "The Welfare Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination in," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 154-167, March.
    20. Maura P. Doyle & Christopher M. Snyder, 1999. "Information Sharing and Competition in the Motor Vehicle Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1326-1364, December.
    21. Michihiro Kandori & Hitoshi Matsushima, 1998. "Private Observation, Communication and Collusion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 627-652, May.
    22. Margaret E. Slade, 1992. "Vancouver's Gasoline-Price Wars: An Empirical Exercise in Uncovering Supergame Strategies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(2), pages 257-276.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Kaplow, Louis & Shapiro, Carl, 2007. "Antitrust," Handbook of Law and Economics, in: A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell (ed.), Handbook of Law and Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 15, pages 1073-1225, Elsevier.
    2. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell & Chris Sanchirico, 2004. "Collusion and Price Rigidity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 317-349.
    3. Gerlach, Heiko, 2009. "Stochastic market sharing, partial communication and collusion," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 655-666, November.
    4. Mouraviev, Igor, 2006. "Private Observation, Tacit Collusion and Collusion with Communication," Working Paper Series 672, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    5. Fudenberg, Drew & Yamamoto, Yuichi, 2011. "Learning from private information in noisy repeated games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(5), pages 1733-1769, September.
    6. Lee, Gea M., 2010. "Optimal collusion with internal contracting," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 646-669, March.
    7. Panayiotis Agisilaou, 2013. "Collusion in Industrial Economics and Optimally Designed Leniency Programmes - A Survey," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Competition Policy (CCP) 2013-03, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    8. David A. Miller, 2012. "Robust Collusion with Private Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 778-811.
    9. Johannes Hörner & Julian Jamison, 2007. "Collusion with (almost) no information," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(3), pages 804-822, September.
    10. Liliane Karlinger, 2008. "How Demand Information Can Destabilize a Cartel," Vienna Economics Papers 0803, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    11. David Spector, 2017. "Cheap talk, monitoring and collusion," Working Papers hal-01975642, HAL.
    12. Joseph E. Harrington Jr. & Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2007. "Collusion under monitoring of sales," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(2), pages 314-331, June.
    13. Yuliy Sannikov & Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2007. "Impossibility of Collusion under Imperfect Monitoring with Flexible Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1794-1823, December.
    14. Aubert, Cecile & Rey, Patrick & Kovacic, William E., 2006. "The impact of leniency and whistle-blowing programs on cartels," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1241-1266, November.
    15. Jonathan Levin, 2003. "Relational Incentive Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 835-857, June.
    16. David Spector, 2015. "Facilitating collusion by exchanging non-verifiable sales reports," Working Papers halshs-01119959, HAL.
    17. Mathias Herzing, 2011. "Does hidden information make trade liberalization more fragile?," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 44(2), pages 561-579, May.
    18. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell, 2008. "Collusion With Persistent Cost Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 493-540, May.
    19. Hongbin Cai & Ichiro Obara, 2009. "Firm reputation and horizontal integration," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(2), pages 340-363, June.
    20. Chan, Jimmy & Zhang, Wenzhang, 2015. "Collusion enforcement with private information and private monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 188-211.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Anti-Trust; Collusion; Communication; Detection; Punishment; Retaliation; Rules;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2739. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.