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Stochastic Market Sharing, Partial Communication and Collusion

  • Heiko Gerlach

    (University OF AUCKLAND)

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.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/io/papers/0501/0501009.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 0501009.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 31 Jan 2005
Date of revision: 23 Mar 2006
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0501009
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 32
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Edward J Green & Robert H Porter, 1997. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1147, David K. Levine.
  2. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1990. "Toward a Theory of Discounted Repeated Games with Imperfect Monitoring," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1041-63, September.
  3. Joseph E Harrington Jr, 2002. "Cartel Pricing Dynamics in the Presence of an Antitrust Authority," Economics Working Paper Archive 487, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised May 2003.
  4. Joseph E. Harrington, 2005. "Optimal Cartel Pricing In The Presence Of An Antitrust Authority," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(1), pages 145-169, 02.
  5. Heiko Gerlach, 2005. "Stochastic Market Sharing, Partial Communication and Collusion," Industrial Organization 0501009, EconWPA, revised 23 Mar 2006.
  6. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David I & Maskin, Eric, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 997-1039, September.
  7. Michihiro Kandori & Hitoshi Matsushima, 1998. "Private Observation, Communication and Collusion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 627-652, May.
  8. Olivier Compte, 1998. "Communication in Repeated Games with Imperfect Private Monitoring," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 597-626, May.
  9. Kai-Uwe Kühn, 2001. "Fighting collusion by regulating communication between firms," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 167-204, 04.
  10. Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1986. "A Supergame-Theoretic Model of Price Wars during Booms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 390-407, June.
  11. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521816632 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Makoto Hanazono & Huanxing Yang, 2004. "Collusion, Fluctuating Demand, and Price Rigidity," KIER Working Papers 589, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  13. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," Working papers 99-17, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. Kyle Bagwell, 2004. "Collusion and Price Rigidity," Theory workshop papers 658612000000000081, UCLA Department of Economics.
  15. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521016919 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Glenn Ellison, 1994. "Theories of Cartel Stability and the Joint Executive Committee," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 37-57, Spring.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Robert H. Porter, 1983. "A Study of Cartel Stability: The Joint Executive Committee, 1880-1886," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 301-314, Autumn.
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