IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Market Sharing Agreements and Collusive Networks


  • Paul Belleflamme

    (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • Francis Bloch

    (GREQAM and Ecole Supérieure de Mécanique de Marseille)


This paper analyzes the formation of market sharing agreements among firms in oligopolistic markets and procurement auctions. The set of market sharing agreements defines a collusive network, and the paper provides a complete characterization of stable and efficient collusive networks when firms and markets are symmetric. Efficient networks are regular networks, where firms have the same number of market sharing agreements. Stable networks are formed of complete alliances, of different sizes, larger than a minimal threshold. Typically, stable networks display fewer market sharing agreements than the optimal network for the industry and more market sharing agreements than the socially optimal network. When firms or markets are asymmetric, incomplete alliances can form in stable networks, and stable networks may be underconnected with respect to the social optimum.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Belleflamme & Francis Bloch, 2001. "Market Sharing Agreements and Collusive Networks," Working Papers 443, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp443

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jackson, Matthew O. & Wolinsky, Asher, 1996. "A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 44-74, October.
    2. Goyal, Sanjeev & Joshi, Sumit, 2003. "Networks of collaboration in oligopoly," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 57-85, April.
    3. Venkatesh Bala & Sanjeev Goyal, 2000. "A Noncooperative Model of Network Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1181-1230, September.
    4. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1992. "Bidding Rings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 579-599, June.
      • McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John., 1990. "Bidding Rings," Working Papers 726, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    5. Sanjeev Goyal & Sumit Joshi, 2006. "Bilateralism And Free Trade," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(3), pages 749-778, August.
    6. Riley, John G & Samuelson, William F, 1981. "Optimal Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 381-392, June.
    7. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
    8. Mailath, George J. & Zemsky, Peter, 1991. "Collusion in second price auctions with heterogeneous bidders," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 467-486, November.
    9. Martin Pesendorfer, 2000. "A Study of Collusion in First-Price Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 381-411.
    10. Claude d'Aspremont & Alexis Jacquemin & Jean Jaskold Gabszewicz & John A. Weymark, 1983. "On the Stability of Collusive Price Leadership," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 16(1), pages 17-25, February.
    11. Maskin, Eric S & Riley, John G, 1984. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1473-1518, November.
    12. Volker Nocke, 1999. "Cartel Stability under Capacity Constraints: The Traditional View Restored," STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers 23, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    13. Preston McAfee, R. & McMillan, John, 1988. "Search mechanisms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 99-123, February.
    14. Raymond Deneckere & Carl Davidson, 1985. "Incentives to Form Coalitions with Bertrand Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(4), pages 473-486, Winter.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Market sharing; Collusion; Economic networks; Oligopoly; Auctions;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    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:qmw:qmwecw:wp443. 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: (Nicholas Owen). 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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.