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Stochastic Market Sharing, Partial Communication and Collusion

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  • Heiko Gerlach

    (University OF AUCKLAND)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the role of communication between firms in an infinitely repeated Bertrand game in which firms receive an imperfect private signal of a common value i.i.d. demand shock. It is shown that firms can use stochastic, inter-temporal market sharing as a perfect substitute for communication in low demand states. Therefore, partial communication in high demand states is sufficient to achieve the most collusive, full communication outcome. And partial communication in low demand state does not improve on the equilibrium without communication. Communication in high demand states allows firms to coordinate their pricing, choose the most efficient uninformed price and avoid price wars. I demonstrate that under some conditions consumers are better off with communication among colluding firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Heiko Gerlach, 2005. "Stochastic Market Sharing, Partial Communication and Collusion," Industrial Organization 0501009, EconWPA, revised 23 Mar 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0501009
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 32
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell & Chris Sanchirico, 2004. "Collusion and Price Rigidity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 317-349.
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    8. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Devereux, Michael P. & Guiso, Luigi & Hassler, John & Saint-Paul, Gilles & Sinn, Hans-Werner & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Vives, Xavier, 2010. "The European economy," Munich Reprints in Economics 20104, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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    12. Kai-Uwe Kühn, 2001. "Fighting collusion by regulating communication between firms," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 167-204, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:indorg:v:53:y:2017:i:c:p:353-370 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Sahuguet, Nicolas & Walckiers, Alexis, 2013. "Selling to a cartel of retailers: a model of hub-and-spoke collusion," CEPR Discussion Papers 9385, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Harrington, Joseph E., 2017. "A theory of collusion with partial mutual understanding," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 140-158.
    4. Harrington, Joseph E. & Zhao, Wei, 2012. "Signaling and tacit collusion in an infinitely repeated Prisoners’ Dilemma," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 277-289.
    5. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr. & Wei Zhao, 2012. "Signaling and Tacit Collusion in an Infinitely Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma," Economics Working Paper Archive 587, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    6. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2012. "A Theory of Tacit Collusion," Economics Working Paper Archive 588, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    7. Gerlach, Heiko, 2009. "Stochastic market sharing, partial communication and collusion," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 655-666, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Stochastic Market Sharing; Communication; Collusion; Competition Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • D - Microeconomics

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