Cartels and Search
This paper unifies two significant but somewhat contradictory ideas. First, search costs potentially influence market price equilibria significantly; in many equilibria consumers do not search despite above-competitive prices. Second, cartels must guard against individual members offering lower prices, thereby creating incentives for consumers to search. We develop a simple framework, and then an example, in which whether search takes place depends upon the magnitude of search costs. Three potential equilibria result, dependent upon model parameters. These include a tacit cartel agreement exhibiting price variance and volatility. A policy conclusion is that such market characteristics do not always guarantee non-cartelisation.
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- Stiglitz, J E, 1979. "Equilibrium in Product Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 339-345, May.
- Albaek, Svend & Mollgaard, Peter & Overgaard, Per B, 1997.
"Government-Assisted Oligopoly Coordination? A Concrete Case,"
Journal of Industrial Economics,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 429-443, December.
- Svend Albæk & Peter Møllgaard & Per Baltzer Overgaard, 1997. "Government-Assisted Oligopoly Coordination? A Concrete Case," CIE Discussion Papers 1997-03, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
- Simon P. Anderson & Regis Renault, 1999. "Pricing, Product Diversity, and Search Costs: A Bertrand-Chamberlin-Diamond Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(4), pages 719-735, Winter.
- Anderson, S.P. & Renault, R., 1997. "Pricing, Product Diversity and Search Costs: A Bertrand-Chamberlin-Diamond Model," Papers 97.481, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
- Simon P. Anderson & Regis Renault, 1999. "Pricing, product diversity, and search costs: a Bertrand-Chamberlin-Diamond model," Virginia Economics Online Papers 335, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
- Justin P. Johnson & David P. Myatt, 2006. "On the Simple Economics of Advertising, Marketing, and Product Design," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 756-784, June.
- David P. Myatt & Justin P. Johnson, 2004. "On the Simple Economics of Advertising, Marketing, and Product Design," Economics Series Working Papers 185, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
- Joseph E. Harrington, Jr, 2005. "Detecting Cartels," Economics Working Paper Archive 526, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
- Shilony, Yuval, 1977. "Mixed pricing in oligopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 373-388, April. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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