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Endogenous Cartel Formation with Heterogeneous Firms

  • Iwan Bos
  • Joseph E. Harrington, Jr.
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In the context of an infinitely repeated capacity-constrained price game, we endogenize the composition of a cartel when .rms are heterogeneous in their capacities. When .rms are sufficiently patient, there exists a stable cartel involving the largest .rms. A .rm with sufficiently small capacity is not a member of any stable cartel. When a cartel is not all-inclusive, colluding firms set a price that serves as an umbrella with non-cartel members pricing below it and producing at capacity. Contrary to previous work, our results suggest that the most severe coordinated e¡èects may come from mergers involving moderate-sized firms, rather than the largest or smallest firms.

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Paper provided by The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number 544.

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Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision: Nov 2008
Handle: RePEc:jhu:papers:544
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  1. Marc Escrihuela Villar, 2008. "A note on cartel stability and endogenous sequencing with tacit collusion," DEA Working Papers 29, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Departament d'Economía Aplicada.
  2. Donsimoni, Marie-Paule & Economides, Nicholas S & Polemarchakis, Herakles M, 1986. "Stable Cartels," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(2), pages 317-27, June.
  3. d'ASPREMONT, Claude & JACQUEMIN, Alexis & GABSZEWICZ, Jean J. & WEYMARK, John A., . "On the stability of collusive price leadership," CORE Discussion Papers RP 522, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Escrihuela-Villar, Marc, 2008. "Partial coordination and mergers among quantity-setting firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 803-810, May.
  5. Lars-Hendrik R�ller & Frode Steen, 2006. "On the Workings of a Cartel: Evidence from the Norwegian Cement Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 321-338, March.
  6. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr, 2006. "How Do Cartels Operate?," Economics Working Paper Archive 531, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  7. Compte, Olivier & Jenny, Frederic & Rey, Patrick, 2002. "Capacity constraints, mergers and collusion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-29, January.
  8. Reinhard Selten, 1973. "A Simple Model of Imperfect Competition, where 4 are Few and 6 are Many," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 008, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
  9. Donsimoni, Marie-Paule, 1985. "Stable heterogeneous cartels," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 451-467, December.
  10. Marc Escrihuela-Villar, 2008. "On endogenous cartel size under tacit collusion," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 32(3), pages 325-338, September.
  11. Harrington, Joseph E., 2006. "How Do Cartels Operate?," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 2(1), pages 1-105, August.
  12. 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.
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