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Private Monitoring and Communication in Cartels: Explaining Recent Collusive Practices

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Listed:
  • Joseph E. Harrington, Jr.
  • Andrzej Skrzypacz

Abstract

Motivated by recent cartel practices, a stable collusive agreement is characterized when firms' prices and quantities are private information. Conditions are derived whereby an equilibrium exists in which firms truthfully report their sales and then make transfers within the cartel based on these reports. The properties of this equilibrium fit well with the cartel agreements used in a number of markets including citric acid, lysine, and vitamins.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph E. Harrington, Jr. & Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2009. "Private Monitoring and Communication in Cartels: Explaining Recent Collusive Practices," Economics Working Paper Archive 555, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:jhu:papers:555
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Johannes Hörner & Wojciech Olszewski, 2006. "The Folk Theorem for Games with Private Almost-Perfect Monitoring," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1499-1544, November.
    2. Green, Edward J & Porter, Robert H, 1984. "Noncooperative Collusion under Imperfect Price Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 87-100, January.
    3. Athey, Susan & Bagwell, Kyle, 2001. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 428-465, Autumn.
    4. William Fuchs, 2007. "Contracting with Repeated Moral Hazard and Private Evaluations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1432-1448, September.
    5. Olivier Compte, 1998. "Communication in Repeated Games with Imperfect Private Monitoring," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 597-626, May.
    6. Abreu, Dilip & Milgrom, Paul & Pearce, David, 1991. "Information and Timing in Repeated Partnerships," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1713-1733, November.
    7. Kandori, Michihiro, 2002. "Introduction to Repeated Games with Private Monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 1-15, January.
    8. Aoyagi, Masaki, 2002. "Collusion in Dynamic Bertrand Oligopoly with Correlated Private Signals and Communication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 229-248, January.
    9. Obara, Ichiro, 2009. "Folk theorem with communication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 120-134, January.
    10. Mailath, George J. & Samuelson, Larry, 2006. "Repeated Games and Reputations: Long-Run Relationships," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195300796.
    11. Zheng, Bingyong, 2008. "Approximate efficiency in repeated games with correlated private signals," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 406-416, May.
    12. Michihiro Kandori & Hitoshi Matsushima, 1998. "Private Observation, Communication and Collusion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 627-652, May.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L61 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Metals and Metal Products; Cement; Glass; Ceramics
    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics

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