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Impossibility of Collusion under Imperfect Monitoring with Flexible Production

  • Skrzypacz, Andrzej

    (Stanford U)

  • Sannikov, Yuliy

    (U of California, Berkeley)

We show that it is impossible to achieve collusion in a duopoly when (1) goods are homogenous and firms compete in quantities, (2) new, imperfect information arrives continuously, without sudden events and (3) firms are able to respond to this new information quickly. The result holds even if we allow for asymmetric equilibria or monetary transfers. The intuition is that the flexibility to respond to new information quickly unravels any collusive scheme and that signals about the aggregate behavior only cannot be used effectively to provide individual incentives via transfers. Our result applies both to a simple stationary model and a more complicated one with prices following a mean-reverting Markov process.

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Paper provided by Stanford University, Graduate School of Business in its series Research Papers with number 1887.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:1887
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  1. Hay, George A & Kelley, Daniel, 1974. "An Empirical Survey of Price Fixing Conspiracies," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 13-38, April.
  2. David G. Pearce & Dilip Abreu & Paul R. Milgrom, 1988. "Information and Timing in Repeated Partnerships," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 875, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Green, Edward J. & Porter, Robert H., 1982. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Working Papers 367, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  4. Athey, Susan & Bagwell, Kyle, 2001. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 428-65, Autumn.
  5. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell & Chris Sanchirico, 2004. "Collusion and Price Rigidity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 317-349.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Andreas Blume & Paul Heidhues, 2008. "Modeling Tacit Collusion in Auctions," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 164(1), pages 163-184, March.
  9. Joseph E Harrington & Jr Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2004. "Collusion under Monitoring of Sales," Economics Working Paper Archive 509, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Mar 2005.
  10. David A. Miller, 2012. "Robust Collusion with Private Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 778-811.
  11. Hopenhayn, Hugo A. & Skrzypacz, Andrzej, 2001. "Tacit Collusion in Repeated Auctions," Research Papers 1698r2, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
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