IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Explicit vs. tacit collusion: The impact of communication in oligopoly experiments

  • Fonseca, Miguel A.
  • Normann, Hans-Theo

We explore the difference between explicit and tacit collusion by investigating the impact communication has in experimental markets. For Bertrand oligopolies with various numbers of firms, we compare pricing behavior with and without the possibility to communicate among firms. We find strong evidence that talking helps to obtain higher profits for any number of firms, however, the gain from communicating is nonmonotonic in the number of firms, with medium-sized industries having the largest additional profit from talking. We also find that industries continue to collude successfully after communication is disabled. Communication supports fims in coordinating on collusive pricing schemes, and it is also used for conflict mediation.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: https://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/62592/1/724283404.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE), University of Düsseldorf in its series DICE Discussion Papers with number 65.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:65
Contact details of provider: Postal:
+49 211 81-13820

Phone: +49 211 81-15494
Fax: +49 211 81-15499
Web page: http://www.dice.hhu.de/en.html
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "Promises and Partnership," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000001, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell, 2004. "Collusion with Persistent Cost Shocks," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000334, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. MiguelA. Fonseca & Hans-Theo Normann, 2008. "Mergers, Asymmetries and Collusion: Experimental Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(527), pages 387-400, 03.
  4. F. T. Dolbear & L. B. Lave & G. Bowman & A. Lieberman & E. Prescott & F. Rueter & R. Sherman, 1968. "Collusion in Oligopoly: An Experiment on the Effect of Numbers and Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 240-259.
  5. Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2003. "Promises & Partnership," Research Papers in Economics 2003:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  6. E. H. Chamberlin, 1929. "Duopoly: Value Where Sellers Are Few," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(1), pages 63-100.
  7. Joseph E. Harrington & Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2011. "Private Monitoring and Communication in Cartels: Explaining Recent Collusive Practices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2425-49, October.
  8. Holt, Charles A, 1985. "An Experimental Test of the Consistent-Conjectures Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 314-25, June.
  9. Ivaldi, Marc & Jullien, Bruno & Rey, Patrick & Seabright, Paul & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "The Economics of Tacit Collusion," IDEI Working Papers 186, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  10. Waichman, Israel & Requate, Till & Siang, Ch'ng Kean, 2010. "Pre-play communication in Cournot competition: An experiment with students and managers," Economics Working Papers 2010,09, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
  11. Joseph E. Harrington, 2004. "Post-Cartel Pricing During Litigation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 517-533, December.
  12. Riener, Gerhard, 2006. "Inequality and Mobility of Household Incomes in Europe. Evidence from the ECHP," Economics Series 195, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  13. Hay, George A & Kelley, Daniel, 1974. "An Empirical Survey of Price Fixing Conspiracies," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 13-38, April.
  14. Dufwenberg, Martin & Gneezy, Uri, 2000. "Price competition and market concentration: an experimental study," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 7-22, January.
  15. G. Camera & M. Casari & M. Bigoni, 2011. "Communication, commitment, and deception in social dilemmas: experimental evidence," Working Papers wp751, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  16. Robert Feinberg & Christopher Snyder, 2002. "Collusion with secret price cuts: an experimental investigation," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 3(6), pages 1-11.
  17. Joseph Farrell and Eric Maskin., 1987. "Renegotiation in Repeated Games," Economics Working Papers 8759, University of California at Berkeley.
  18. Daniel Balliet, 2010. "Communication and Cooperation in Social Dilemmas: A Meta-Analytic Review," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 54(1), pages 39-57, February.
  19. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell & Chris Sanchirico, 2004. "Collusion and Price Rigidity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 317-349.
  20. Joseph Farrell & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 103-118, Summer.
  21. Kai-Uwe Kühn, 2012. "How Market Fragmentation Can Facilitate Collusion," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(5), pages 1116-1140, October.
  22. José Apesteguía & Martin Dufwenberg & Reinhard Selten, 2003. "Blowing the Whistle," Documentos de Trabajo - Lan Gaiak Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra 0303, Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra, revised 2003.
    • Jose Apesteguia & Martin Dufwenberg & Reinhard Selten, 2007. "Blowing the Whistle," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 31(1), pages 143-166, April.
  23. Frohlich, Norman & Oppenheimer, Joe, 1998. "Some consequences of e-mail vs. face-to-face communication in experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 389-403, April.
  24. Erik Kimbrough & Vernon Smith & Bart Wilson, 2006. "Historical Property Rights, Sociality, and the Emergence of Impersonal Exchange in Long-distance Trade," Working Papers 1003, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, revised Oct 2006.
  25. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Communication and Free-Riding Behavior: The Voluntary Contribution Mechanism," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 585-608, October.
  26. Isaac, R. Mark & Ramey, Valerie & Williams, Arlington W., 1984. "The effects of market organization on conspiracies in restraint of trade," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 191-222, June.
  27. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:3:y:2002:i:6:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Crawford, Vincent, 1998. "A Survey of Experiments on Communication via Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 286-298, February.
  29. Jeannette Brosig & Joachim Weimann & Axel Ockenfels, 2003. "The Effect of Communication Media on Cooperation," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4(2), pages 217-241, 05.
  30. Compte, Olivier & Jenny, Frederic & Rey, Patrick, 2002. "Capacity constraints, mergers and collusion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-29, January.
  31. Davies, Stephen & Olczak, Matthew & Coles, Heather, 2011. "Tacit collusion, firm asymmetries and numbers: Evidence from EC merger cases," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 221-231, March.
  32. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
  33. Jeroen Hinloopen & Adriaan R. Soetevent, 2008. "Laboratory evidence on the effectiveness of corporate leniency programs," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(2), pages 607-616.
  34. Posner, Richard A, 1970. "A Statistical Study of Antitrust Enforcement," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 365-419, October.
  35. Bigoni, Maria & Fridolfsson, Sven-Olof & Le Coq, Chloé & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2008. "Fines, Leniency and Rewards in Antitrust: An Experiment," Working Paper Series 738, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 06 Aug 2009.
  36. Costa-Gomes, Miguel A., 2002. "A Suggested Interpretation of Some Experimental Results on Preplay Communication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 104-136, May.
  37. Athey, Susan & Bagwell, Kyle, 2001. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 428-65, Autumn.
  38. Cason, Timothy N., 1995. "Cheap talk price signaling in laboratory markets," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 183-204, June.
  39. David Genesove & Wallace P. Mullin, 2001. "Rules, Communication, and Collusion: Narrative Evidence from the Sugar Institute Case," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 379-398, June.
  40. Shorrocks, A F, 1978. "The Measurement of Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1013-24, September.
  41. Pedro Dal Bó, 2002. "Cooperation Under the Shadow of the Future: Experimental Evidence from Infinitely Repeated Games," Working Papers 2002-20, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  42. Douglas Bernheim, B. & Ray, Debraj, 1989. "Collective dynamic consistency in repeated games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 295-326, December.
  43. Stephen Davies & Matthew Olczak & Heather Coles, 2007. "Tacit Collusion, Firm Asymmetries and Numbers: Evidence from EC Merger Cases," Working Papers 07-7, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia.
  44. Holt, Charles A & Langan, Loren W & Villamil, Anne P, 1986. "Market Power in Oral Double Auctions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(1), pages 107-23, January.
  45. Andersson, Ola & Wengström, Erik, 2004. "Do Antitrust Laws Facilitate Collusion? Experimental Evidence on Costly Communication in Duopolies," Working Papers 2004:14, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 13 Sep 2004.
  46. Michael D. Whinston, 2008. "Lectures on Antitrust Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262731878.
  47. Jordi Brandts & David J. Cooper, 2007. "It's What You Say, Not What You Pay: An Experimental Study of Manager–Employee Relationships in Overcoming Coordination Failure," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(6), pages 1223-1268, December.
  48. Aoyagi, Masaki & Fréchette, Guillaume, 2009. "Collusion as public monitoring becomes noisy: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1135-1165, May.
  49. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:65. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.