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How Much Collusion. A Meta-Analysis On Oligopoly Experiments

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  • Christoph Engel

    () (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

Abstract

Oligopoly has been among the first topics in the experimental economics. Over half a century, some 150 papers have been published. Each individual paper was interested in demonstrating one effect. But in order to do so, experimenters had to specify many more parameters. That way they have generated a huge body of evidence, untapped thus far. This meta-analysis makes this evidence available. More than 100 of the papers lend themselves to calculating an index of collusion. The data bank behind this paper covers some 700 different settings. The experimental results may be normalised as a percentage of the span between the Walrasian and the Pareto outcomes. The same way, results may be expressed as a percentage of the distance between the Nash and the Pareto outcomes. For each and every of the parameters, these two indices make it possible to answer two questions: how far is the market outcome away from the competitive equilibrium? And how good is the Nash prediction? Most importantly, however, the meta-analysis sheds light on how features of the experimental setting interact with each other. Most main effects and many interaction effects are indeed statistically significant.

Suggested Citation

  • Christoph Engel, 2006. "How Much Collusion. A Meta-Analysis On Oligopoly Experiments," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2006_27, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  • Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2006_27
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Cracau & Benjamin Franz, 2012. "An experimental study of mixed strategy equilibria in simultaneous price-quantity games," FEMM Working Papers 120017, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    2. Davis, Douglas, 2011. "Behavioral convergence properties of Cournot and Bertrand markets: An experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 443-458.
    3. Lisa Anderson & Beth Freeborn & Jason Hulbert, 2012. "Risk Aversion and Tacit Collusion in a Bertrand Duopoly Experiment," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 40(1), pages 37-50, February.
    4. Krämer Jan & Vogelsang Ingo, 2016. "Co-Investments and Tacit Collusion in Regulated Network Industries: Experimental Evidence," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, pages 35-61.
    5. Nicholas Wilson, 2012. "Shock to the System: Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV and Child Mortality," Department of Economics Working Papers 2012-03, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Jul 2013.
    6. Christoph Engel, 2011. "Dictator games: a meta study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 583-610, November.
    7. Christoph Engel, 2011. "Competition as a Socially Desirable Dilemma – Theory v. Experimental Evidence," Chapters,in: Competition Policy and the Economic Approach, chapter 13 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Engel, Christoph & Zhurakhovska, Lilia, 2014. "Conditional cooperation with negative externalities – An experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 252-260.
    9. Ottone, Stefania & Ponzano, Ferruccio, 2010. "Competition and cooperation in markets. The experimental case of a winner-take-all setting," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 163-170, April.
    10. Doruk İriş & Luís Santos-Pinto, 2013. "Tacit Collusion under Fairness and Reciprocity," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(1), pages 1-16, February.
    11. Christoph Engel & Lilia Zhurakhovska, 2011. "Oligopoly as a Socially Embedded Dilemma. An Experiment," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2011_01, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    12. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2012. "Evaluating Mergers for Coordinated Effects and the Role of 'Parallel Accommodating Conduct'," Economics Working Paper Archive 601, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    13. Schubert, Jens, 2013. "The Impact of Forward Trading on Tacit Collusion: Experimental Evidence," MPRA Paper 43768, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Douglas Davis & Oleg Korenok & Robert Reilly, 2009. "Re-matching, information and sequencing effects in posted offer markets," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(1), pages 65-86, March.
    15. Christoph Engel & Bettina Rockenbach, 2009. "We Are Not Alone: The Impact of Externalities on Public Good Provision," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2009_29, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised May 2011.
    16. Olga Gorelkina, 2014. "Bidder Collusion and the Auction with Target Bids," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2014_10, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    17. Andreas Nicklisch, 2008. "Semi-collusive advertising and pricing in experimental duopolies," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2008_25, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    18. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2012. "A Theory of Tacit Collusion," Economics Working Paper Archive 588, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    19. Duersch, Peter & Eife, Thomas, 2013. "Price Competition in an Inflationary Environment," Working Papers 0547, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    20. Christoph Engel, 2011. "Competition as a Socially Desirable Dilemma – Theory v. Experimental Evidence," Chapters,in: Competition Policy and the Economic Approach, chapter 13 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    21. Argenton, Cédric & Müller, Wieland, 2012. "Collusion in experimental Bertrand duopolies with convex costs: The role of cost asymmetry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 508-517.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    oligopoly; collusion; unilateral effect; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices

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