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Firm-Specific Information and Explicit Collusion in Experimental Oligopolies

Author

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  • Francisco Gomez-Martin

    (University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

  • Sander Onderstal

    (University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

  • Joep Sonnemans

    (University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

Abstract

Published in the 'European Economic Review' . We experimentally study the effect of information about competitors’ actions on cartel stability and firms’ incentives to form cartels in Cournot markets. As in previous experiments, markets become very competitive when individualized information is available and participants cannot communicate. In contrast, when communication is possible, results reverse: Markets become less competitive and cartels become more stable when individualized information is available. We also observe that the extra profits that firms obtain thanks to the possibility to communicate are higher when individualized information is present, suggesting that firms have greater incentives to form cartels in that situation.

Suggested Citation

  • Francisco Gomez-Martin & Sander Onderstal & Joep Sonnemans, 2015. "Firm-Specific Information and Explicit Collusion in Experimental Oligopolies," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-054/I, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20150054
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hinloopen, Jeroen & Onderstal, Sander & Treuren, Leonard, 2020. "Cartel stability in experimental first-price sealed-bid and English auctions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    2. Miguel A. Fonseca & Ricardo Gonçalves & Joana Pinho & Giovanni Tabacco, 2020. "Cartel deterrence and manager labor market in US and EU antitrust jurisdictions: theory and experimental data," Working Papers de Economia (Economics Working Papers) 02, Católica Porto Business School, Universidade Católica Portuguesa.
    3. Peter T. Dijkstra & Marco A. Haan & Lambert Schoonbeek, 2021. "Leniency Programs and the Design of Antitrust: Experimental Evidence with Free-Form Communication," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 59(1), pages 13-36, August.
    4. Andres, Maximilian & Bruttel, Lisa & Friedrichsen, Jana, 2021. "The leniency rule revisited: Experiments on cartel formation with open communication," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
    5. Francisco Gomez Martinez & Sander Onderstal & Maarten Pieter Schinkel, 2019. "Can Collusion Promote Corporate Social Responsibility? Evidence from the Lab," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 19-034/VII, Tinbergen Institute, revised 12 Nov 2019.
    6. Lenka Fiala & Sigrid Suetens, 2017. "Transparency and cooperation in repeated dilemma games: a meta study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(4), pages 755-771, December.
    7. Andreas Freitag & Catherine Roux & Christian Thöni, 2021. "Communication And Market Sharing: An Experiment On The Exchange Of Soft And Hard Information," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 62(1), pages 175-198, February.
    8. Gomez-Martinez, Francisco, 2016. "Partial Cartels and Mergers with Heterogeneous Firms: Experimental Evidence," MPRA Paper 81132, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Jul 2017.
    9. David Kopanyi & Anita Kopanyi-Peuker, 2015. "Endogenous information disclosure in experimental oligopolies," Discussion Papers 2015-11, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    10. Maximilian Andres & Lisa Bruttel & Jana Friedrichsen, 2019. "The Effect of a Leniency Rule on Cartel Formation and Stability: Experiments with Open Communication," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1835, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    11. Fourberg, Niklas, 2018. "Let's lock them in: Collusion under consumer switching costs," DICE Discussion Papers 296, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    12. Gomez-Martinez, Francisco, 2017. "Partial Cartels and Mergers with Heterogenous Firms: Experimental Evidence," EconStor Preprints 169380, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    13. Miguel A. Fonseca & Yan Li & Hans‐Theo Normann, 2018. "Why factors facilitating collusion may not predict cartel occurrence — experimental evidence," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 85(1), pages 255-275, July.
    14. Waichman, Israel & Blanckenburg, Korbinian von, 2020. "Is there no “I” in “Team”? Interindividual-intergroup discontinuity effect in a Cournot competition experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cournot oligopoly; Cartels; Information; Experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • 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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