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Tacit Collusion and Capacity Withholding in Repeated Uniform Price Auctions

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  • Dechenaux, Emmanuel
  • Kovenock, Dan

Abstract

This paper contributes to the study of tacit collusion by analyzing infinitely reaped multiunit uniform price auctions in a symmetric oligopoly with capacity constrained firms. Under both the Market Clearing and Maximum Accepted Price rules of determining the uniform price, we show that when each firm sets a price-quantity pair specifying the firm’s minimum acceptable price and the maximum quantity the firm is willing to sell at this price, there exists a range of discount factors for which the monopoly outcome with equal sharing is sustainable in the uniform price auction, but not in the corresponding discriminatory auction. Moreover, capacity withholding may be necessary to sustain this outcome. We extend these results to the case where firms may set bids that are arbitrary step functions of price-quantity pairs with any finite number of price steps. Surprisingly, under the Maximum Accepted Price rule, firms need employ no more than two price steps to minimize the value of the discount factor above which the perfectly collusive outcome with equal sharing is sustainable on a stationary path. Under the Market Clearing Price rule, only one step is required. That is, within the class of step bidding functions with a finite number of steps, maximal collusion is attained with simple price-quantity strategies exhibiting capacity withholding.

Suggested Citation

  • Dechenaux, Emmanuel & Kovenock, Dan, 2005. "Tacit Collusion and Capacity Withholding in Repeated Uniform Price Auctions," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1174, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1174
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Joseph Mullins & Liam Wagner & John Foster, 2010. "Price Spikes in Electricity Markets: A Strategic Perspective," Energy Economics and Management Group Working Papers 05, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    2. Emmanuel Dechenaux & Dan Kovenock, 2011. "Endogenous rationing, price dispersion and collusion in capacity constrained supergames," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 47(1), pages 29-74, May.
    3. Zoltán Rácz & Attila Tasnádi, 2016. "A Bertrand–Edgeworth oligopoly with a public firm," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 119(3), pages 253-266, November.
    4. Heim, Sven & Götz, Georg, 2013. "Do pay-as-bid auctions favor collusion? Evidence from Germany's market for reserve power," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-035, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. Li, Hongyan & Tesfatsion, Leigh, 2012. "Co-learning patterns as emergent market phenomena: An electricity market illustration," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 395-419.
    6. Lízal, Lubomír M. & Tashpulatov, Sherzod N., 2014. "Do producers apply a capacity cutting strategy to increase prices? The case of the England and Wales electricity market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 114-124.
    7. Bergler, Julian & Heim, Sven & Hüschelrath, Kai, 2017. "Strategic capacity withholding through failures in the German-Austrian electricity market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 210-221.
    8. Anderson, E.J. & Cau, T.D.H., 2011. "Implicit collusion and individual market power in electricity markets," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 211(2), pages 403-414, June.
    9. Boom, Anette, 2009. "Vertically integrated firms' investments in electricity generating capacities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 544-551, July.
    10. Brown, David P. & Eckert, Andrew & Lin, James, 2018. "Information and Transparency in Wholesale Electricity Markets: Evidence from Alberta," Working Papers 2018-2, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    11. Richard Benjamin, 2016. "Tacit Collusion in Electricity Markets with Uncertain Demand," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 48(1), pages 69-93, February.
    12. Richard Benjamin, 2016. "Tacit Collusion in Electricity Markets with Uncertain Demand," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 48(1), pages 69-93, February.
    13. De Francesco, Massimo A. & Salvadori, Neri, 2015. "Bertrand-Edgeworth games under triopoly: the payoffs," MPRA Paper 64638, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. repec:gam:jeners:v:10:y:2017:i:12:p:2045-:d:121412 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Auction ; Capacity ; Collusion ; Electricity Market ; Supply Function;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • 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
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities

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