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Testing Game-Theoretic Models of Price Fixing Behaviour

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  • Vassilis A. Hajivassiliou

    (Yale University)

Abstract

This paper analyzes price fixing by the Joint Executive Committee railroad cartel from 1880 to 1886 and develops tests of two game-theoretic models of tacit collusion. The first model, due to Abreu, Pearce and Stacchetti (1986), predicts that price will switch across regimes according to a Markov process. The second, by Rotemberg and Saloner (1986), postulates that price wars are more likely in periods of high industry demand. Switching regressions are used to model the firms' shifting between collusive and punishment behavior. The main econometric novelty in the estimation procedures introduced in this paper is that misclassification probabilities are allowed to vary endogenously over time. The JEC data set is expanded to include measures of grain production to be shipped and availability of substitute transportation services. Our findings cast doubt on the applicability of the Rotemberg and Saloner model to the JEC railroad cartel, while they confirm the Markovian prediction of the Abreu, et al. Model.
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Suggested Citation

  • Vassilis A. Hajivassiliou, 1993. "Testing Game-Theoretic Models of Price Fixing Behaviour," Working Papers _017, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:yaluwp:_017
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    File URL: ftp://ftp.econ.yale.edu/pub/vassilis/papers/ps/cartel.zip
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
    2. Michael H. Riordan, 1985. "Imperfect Information and Dynamic Conjectural Variations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(1), pages 41-50, Spring.
    3. Vassilis A. Hajivassiliou & Daniel L. McFadden, 1998. "The Method of Simulated Scores for the Estimation of LDV Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 863-896, July.
    4. Green, Edward J & Porter, Robert H, 1984. "Noncooperative Collusion under Imperfect Price Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 87-100, January.
    5. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1986. "Optimal cartel equilibria with imperfect monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 251-269, June.
    6. Hajivassiliou, Vassilis Argyrou, 1986. "Two misspecification tests for the simple switching regressions disequilibrium model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 343-348.
    7. Cosslett, Stephen R. & Lee, Lung-Fei, 1985. "Serial correlation in latent discrete variable models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 79-97, January.
    8. Berry, Steven & Briggs, Hugh, 1988. "A non-parametric test of a first-order Markov process for regimes in a non-cooperatively collusive industry," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 73-77.
    9. Nelson, Forrest D., 1977. "Censored regression models with unobserved, stochastic censoring thresholds," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 309-327, November.
    10. Goldfelfd, Stephen M. & Quandt, Richard E., 1975. "Estimation in a disequilibrium model and the value of information," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 325-348, November.
    11. Fair, Ray C & Jaffee, Dwight M, 1972. "Methods of Estimation for Markets in Disequilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(3), pages 497-514, May.
    12. Lee, Lung-Fei & Porter, Robert H, 1984. "Switching Regression Models with Imperfect Sample Separation Information-With an Application on Cartel Stability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 391-418, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Richards, Timothy J. & Patterson, Paul M., 2004. "Causes of retail price fixity: an empirical analysis," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 117-136.
    2. David G. Pearce, 1991. "Repeated Games: Cooperation and Rationality," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 983, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes

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