IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Trigger Strategies and the Cyclicality of Markups


  • Allen Head
  • Beverly Lapham


An environment capable of generating both counter- and procyclical movements in markups through the interaction of opposing factors is considered. This framework can account for observed variations in the cyclical behavior of markups across industries. Technology shocks and endogenous labor supply are introduced into a model with implicit collusion and periodic reversion to non-collusive behavior. Within either a collusive or non-collusive regime, markups are positively correlated with output. Switches between regimes, however, result in opposing movements in markups and output, reducing the overall correlation of the two series. Our findings imply that weak cyclicality of markups is not inconsistent with a large role for changes in market power in accounting for cyclical fluctuations. Offsetting effects may make the overall correlation of the markup with output low, while still allowing for the instability of the cartel to have important cyclical implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Allen Head & Beverly Lapham, 1994. "Trigger Strategies and the Cyclicality of Markups," Working Papers 911, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:911

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version 1994
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    markups; oligopoly; trigger strategies;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles


    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
    1. Canadian Macro Study Group


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:911. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Babcock). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.