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Colluding through Suppliers

In a dynamic game between N retailers and a large number of suppliers, I show that inefficient contracting emerges as a mechanism to implement collusion among retailers, building on the natural ‘complementarity’ between retail and wholesale prices. When efficient collusion is not sustainable, this complementarity allows retailers to rely on inefficient input supply, entailing double marginalization and negative franchise fees, to squeeze the wedge between collusive and deviation profits. I also study the role of communication on the equilibrium outcomes of games where retailers have the initiative. It turns out that communication is indeed fundamental to strengthen cartels' sustainability, although generating efficiency losses.

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Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 224.

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Date of creation: 24 Apr 2009
Date of revision: 08 Apr 2010
Publication status: Published in RAND Journal of Economics, 2012, Vol. 43, 492-513.
Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:224
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  1. Caillaud, Bernard & Jullien, B & Picard, P, 1995. "Competing Vertical Structures: Precommitment and Renegotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(3), pages 621-46, May.
  2. Nocke, Volker & White, Lucy, 2004. "Do Vertical Mergers Facilitate Upstream Collusion?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4186, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Miklos-Thal, Jeanine & Rey, Patrick & Vergé, Thibaud, 2008. "Buyer Power and Intraband Coordination," IDEI Working Papers 500, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  4. Vega-Redondo,Fernando, 2003. "Economics and the Theory of Games," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521775908, October.
  5. Katz, Michael L., 1991. "Game-Playing Agents: Unobservable Contracts as Precommitments," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt79b870w0, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  6. Kai-Uwe Kuhn, 1997. "Nonlinear Pricing in Vertically Related Duopolies," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(1), pages 37-62, Spring.
  7. Patrick Rey & Joseph Stiglitz, 1995. "The Role of Exclusive Territories in Producers' Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(3), pages 431-451, Autumn.
  8. Maarten Pieter Schinkel & Jan Tuinstra & Jakob Rüggeberg, 2008. "Illinois Walls: how barring indirect purchaser suits facilitates collusion," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(3), pages 683-698.
  9. Jullien, Bruno & Rey, Patrick, 2000. "Resale Price Maintenance and Collusion," CEPR Discussion Papers 2553, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Pagano, Marco & Jappelli, Tullio, 1993. " Information Sharing in Credit Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1693-1718, December.
  11. Martimort, D., 1992. "Exclusive Dealing, Common Agency and Multiprincipals Incentive Thoery," Papers 92.278, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  12. מחקר - ביטוח לאומי, 2005. "Annual Survey 2004," Working Papers 16, National Insurance Institute of Israel.
  13. anonymous, 2005. "Basel II survey documents finalized," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Win, pages 40.
  14. Gal-Or, Esther, 1991. "Vertical Restraints with Incomplete Information," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(5), pages 503-516, September.
  15. Benjamin F. Blair & Tracy R. Lewis, 1994. "Optimal Retail Contracts with Asymmetric Information and Moral Hazard," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 284-296, Summer.
  16. repec:mpr:mprres:4946 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Esther Gal-Or, 1991. "A Common Agency with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(2), pages 274-286, Summer.
  18. -, 2005. "Economic survey of the Caribbean 2004-2005," Sede Subregional de la CEPAL para el Caribe (Estudios e Investigaciones) 38825, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
  19. Francine Lafontaine & Kathryn L. Shaw, 1999. "The Dynamics of Franchise Contracting: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 1041-1080, October.
  20. Raith, Michael, 1996. "A General Model of Information Sharing in Oligopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 260-288, October.
  21. Greg Shaffer, 1991. "Slotting Allowances and Resale Price Maintenance: A Comparison of Facilitating Practices," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(1), pages 120-135, Spring.
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