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Bargaining in Collusive Markets

In this paper we investigate collusion in an infinitely repeated Bertrand duopoly where firms have different discount factors. In order to study how a collusive agreement is reached we model the equilibrium selection as an alternating-offer bargaining game. The selected equilibrium has several appealing features: First, it is efficient in the sense that it entails immediate agreement on the monopoly price. Second, the equilibrium shows how discount factors affect equilibrium market shares. A comparative statics analysis on equilibrium market shares reveals that changes in discount factors may have ambiguous effects on market shares.

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Paper provided by Lund University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2006:21.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 14 Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2006_021
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund,Sweden
Phone: +46 +46 222 0000
Fax: +46 +46 2224613
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  1. Margaret C. Levenstein & Valerie Y. Suslow, 2002. "What Determines Cartel Success?," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2002-01, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  2. Ariel Rubinstein, 2010. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000387, David K. Levine.
  3. Howe, M, 1973. "A Study of Trade Association Price Fixing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 236-56, July.
  4. Friedman, James W, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(113), pages 1-12, January.
  5. Athey, Susan & Bagwell, Kyle, 2001. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 428-65, Autumn.
  6. Switgard Feuerstein, 2005. "Collusion in Industrial Economics—A Survey," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 163-198, December.
  7. 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 117-37, June.
  8. Busch, Lutz-Alexander & Wen, Quan, 1995. "Perfect Equilibria in Negotiation Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(3), pages 545-65, May.
  9. Abreu, Dilip, 1988. "On the Theory of Infinitely Repeated Games with Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 383-96, March.
  10. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
  11. 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.
  12. Harrington, Joseph E., 2006. "How Do Cartels Operate?," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 2(1), pages 1-105, August.
  13. Fudenberg, Drew & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Folk Theorem in Repeated Games with Discounting or with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 533-54, May.
  14. Harrington, Joseph Jr., 1989. "Collusion among asymmetric firms: The case of different discount factors," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 289-307, June.
  15. Ehud Lehrer & Ady Pauzner, 1999. "Repeated Games with Differential Time Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 393-412, March.
  16. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 2005. "Bargaining and Markets," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000515, UCLA Department of Economics.
  17. Rubinstein, Ariel & Wolinsky, Asher, 1990. "Decentralized Trading, Strategic Behaviour and the Walrasian Outcome," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 63-78, January.
  18. Harrington, Joseph E, Jr, 1991. "The Determination of Price and Output Quotas in a Heterogeneous Cartel," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(4), pages 767-92, November.
  19. Abreu, Dilip, 1986. "Extremal equilibria of oligopolistic supergames," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 191-225, June.
  20. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr, 2006. "How Do Cartels Operate?," Economics Working Paper Archive 531, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
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