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Testing Optimal Punishment Mechanisms under Price Regulation: the Case of the Retail Market for Gasoline

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Gagné

    (HEC Montréal, CRT and CIRANO)

  • Simon van Norden

    (HEC Montréal, CIRANO and CIREQ)

  • Bruno Versaevel

    (EM Lyon, GATE CNRS)

Abstract

We analyse the effects of a price floor on price wars (or deep price cuts) in the retail market for gasoline. Bertrand supergame oligopoly models predict that price wars should last longer in the presence of price floors. In 1996, the introduction of a price floor in the Quebec retail market for gasoline serves as a natural experiment with which to test this prediction. We use a Markov Switching Model with two latent states to simultaneously identify the periods of price-collusion/price-war and estimate the parameters characterizing each state. Results support the prediction that price floors reduce the intensity of price wars but increase their expected duration.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Gagné & Simon van Norden & Bruno Versaevel, 2006. "Testing Optimal Punishment Mechanisms under Price Regulation: the Case of the Retail Market for Gasoline," Working Papers 0611, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
  • Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:0611
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Etienne Billette de Villemeur & Laurent Flochel & Bruno Versaevel, 2013. "Optimal collusion with limited liability," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 9(3), pages 203-227, September.
    2. Flochel, Laurent & Versaevel, Bruno & de Villemeur, Étienne, 2009. "Optimal Collusion with Limited Liability and Policy Implications," IDEI Working Papers 547, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Jul 2011.
    3. Etienne Billette de Villemeur & Laurent Flochel & Bruno Versaevel, 2009. "Optimal Collusion with Limited Severity Constraint," Post-Print halshs-00375798, HAL.
    4. Flochel, Laurent & Versaevel, Bruno & de Villemeur, Étienne, 2009. "Optimal Collusion with Limited Liability and Policy Implications," IDEI Working Papers 547, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Jul 2011.
    5. Juan Esteban Carranza & Robert Clark & Jean-François Houde, 2015. "Price Controls and Market Structure: Evidence from Gasoline Retail Markets," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(1), pages 152-198, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gasoline prices; Markov switching model; oligopoly supergame; price regulation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce

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