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Stochastic market sharing, partial communication and collusion

  • Gerlach, Heiko

    ()

    (IESE Business School)

This paper analyzes the role of communication between firms in an infinitely repeated Bertrand game in which firms receive an imperfect private signal of a common value i.i.d. demand shock. It is shown that firms can use stochastic, inter-temporal market sharing as a perfect substitute for communication in low-demand states. Therefore, partial communication in high-demand states is sufficient to achieve the most collusive, full communication outcome. And partial communication in low-demand states does not improve on the equilibrium without communication. Communication in high-demand states allows firms to coordinate their pricing, choose the most efficient uninformed price and avoid price wars. I demonstrate that under some conditions consumers are better off with communication among colluding firms.

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File URL: http://www.iese.edu/research/pdfs/DI-0674-E.pdf
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Paper provided by IESE Business School in its series IESE Research Papers with number D/674.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 21 Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ebg:iesewp:d-0674
Contact details of provider: Postal: IESE Business School, Av Pearson 21, 08034 Barcelona, SPAIN
Web page: http://www.iese.edu/

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  1. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," Working papers 99-17, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Joseph E Harrington Jr, 2002. "Cartel Pricing Dynamics in the Presence of an Antitrust Authority," Economics Working Paper Archive 487, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised May 2003.
  3. Fudenberg, D. & Levine, D.K. & Maskin, E., 1989. "The Folk Theorem With Inperfect Public Information," Working papers 523, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell & Chris Sanchirico, 2002. "Collusion and price rigidity," Discussion Papers 0102-38, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  5. Joseph E. Harrington, 2005. "Optimal Cartel Pricing In The Presence Of An Antitrust Authority," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(1), pages 145-169, 02.
  6. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Devereux, Michael P. & Guiso, Luigi & Hassler, John & Saint-Paul, Gilles & Sinn, Hans-Werner & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Vives, Xavier, 2010. "The European economy," Munich Reprints in Economics 20104, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. Olivier Compte, 1998. "Communication in Repeated Games with Imperfect Private Monitoring," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 597-626, May.
  8. Makoto Hanazono & Huanxing Yang, 2004. "Collusion, Fluctuating Demand, and Price Rigidity," KIER Working Papers 589, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  9. 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.
  10. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521816632 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Green, Edward J & Porter, Robert H, 1984. "Noncooperative Collusion under Imperfect Price Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 87-100, January.
  12. Heiko Gerlach, 2005. "Stochastic Market Sharing, Partial Communication and Collusion," Industrial Organization 0501009, EconWPA, revised 23 Mar 2006.
  13. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1990. "Toward a Theory of Discounted Repeated Games with Imperfect Monitoring," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1041-63, September.
  14. Robert H. Porter, 1983. "A Study of Cartel Stability: The Joint Executive Committee, 1880-1886," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 301-314, Autumn.
  15. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521016919 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Glenn Ellison, 1994. "Theories of Cartel Stability and the Joint Executive Committee," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 37-57, Spring.
  17. Kai-Uwe Kühn, 2001. "Fighting collusion by regulating communication between firms," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 167-204, 04.
  18. Michihiro Kandori & Hitoshi Matsushima, 1998. "Private Observation, Communication and Collusion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 627-652, May.
  19. 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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