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A Cost-Side Analysis on Collusive Sustainability

  • Lambertini, L.
  • Sasaki, D.

In an oligopoly supergame, firms' actions in prices and quantities are subject to non-negativity constraints. These constraints can obstruct the practicability of optimal punishment (a la Abreu (1986), Lambson (1987), and Hackner (1996)) in sustaining tacit collusion. Noting that the prospect of single-period optimal punishment depends indispensably upon firms' ability to charge prices strictly below marginal costs (loss-making pricing), under the presence of positive price constraints, marginal costs can serve as a "fudge" to materialise single-period optimal punishment. In this paper we characterise the effects of profit-cost ratios (or mark-ups) on the sustainability of tacit collusion, in light of optimal punishment.

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Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 710.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:710
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 4th Floor, FBE Building, Level 4, 111 Barry Street. Victoria, 3010, Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 5355
Fax: +61 3 8344 6899
Web page: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au
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  1. Ross, Thomas W., 1992. "Cartel stability and product differentiation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 1-13, March.
  2. Abreu, Dilip, 1988. "On the Theory of Infinitely Repeated Games with Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 383-96, March.
  3. Hackner, Jonas, 1995. "Endogenous product design in an infinitely repeated game," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 277-299.
  4. Hackner, Jonas, 1996. "Optimal symmetric punishments in a Bertrand differentiated products duopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 611-630, July.
  5. Friedman, James W, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(113), pages 1-12, January.
  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. Lambson Val Eugene, 1994. "Some Results on Optimal Penal Codes in Asymmetric Bertrand Supergames," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 444-468, April.
  8. Chang, Myong-Hun, 1992. "Intertemporal Product Choice and Its Effects on Collusive Firm Behavior," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(4), pages 773-93, November.
  9. Lambson, Val Eugene, 1995. "Optimal penal codes in nearly symmetric Bertrand supergames with capacity constraints," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-22.
  10. Hackner, Jonas, 1994. "Collusive pricing in markets for vertically differentiated products," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 155-177, June.
  11. FRIEDMAN, James W. & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Partial collusion fosters minimum product differentiation," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1070, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  12. Deneckere, R., 1983. "Duopoly supergames with product differentiation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-2), pages 37-42.
  13. Lambertini, Luca, 1997. "Prisoners' Dilemma in Duopoly (Super)Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 181-191, November.
  14. Abreu, Dilip, 1986. "Extremal equilibria of oligopolistic supergames," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 191-225, June.
  15. Rothschild, R., 1992. "On the sustainability of collusion in differentiated duopolies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 33-37, September.
  16. Lambson, Val Eugene, 1987. "Optimal Penal Codes in Price-Setting Supergames with Capacity Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 385-97, July.
  17. Chang, Myong-Hun, 1991. "The effects of product differentiation on collusive pricing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 453-469, September.
  18. Albaek, Svend & Lambertini, Luca, 1998. "Collusion in differentiated duopolies revisited," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 305-308, June.
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