IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

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: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/62592/1/724283404.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) 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. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr. & Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2009. "Private Monitoring and Communication in Cartels: Explaining Recent Collusive Practices," Economics Working Paper Archive 555, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. Riener, Gerhard, 2006. "Inequality and Mobility of Household Incomes in Europe. Evidence from the ECHP," Economics Series 195, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  4. Robert Feinberg & Christopher Snyder, 2002. "Collusion with secret price cuts: an experimental investigation," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 3(6), pages 1-11.
  5. Joseph E Harrington Jr, 2002. "Post-Cartel Pricing during Litigation," Economics Working Paper Archive 488, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Jun 2003.
  6. Kyle Bagwell, 2004. "Collusion and Price Rigidity," Theory workshop papers 658612000000000081, UCLA Department of Economics.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Farrell, Joseph & Maskin, Eric, 1987. "Renegotiation in Repeated Games," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt9wv3h5jb, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  10. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "Promises and Partnership," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000001, UCLA Department of Economics.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell, 2008. "Collusion With Persistent Cost Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 493-540, 05.
  14. Shorrocks, A F, 1978. "The Measurement of Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1013-24, September.
  15. V. Crawford & J. Sobel, 2010. "Strategic Information Transmission," Levine's Working Paper Archive 544, David K. Levine.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Jeannette Brosig & Axel Ockenfels & Joachim Weimann, 2002. "The Effect of Communication Media on Cooperation," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-17, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  19. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," Working papers 99-17, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  20. Michael D. Whinston, 2008. "Lectures on Antitrust Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262731878, June.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Cason, Timothy N., 1995. "Cheap talk price signaling in laboratory markets," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 183-204, June.
  24. David Genesove & Wallace P. Mullin, 2001. "Rules, Communication and Collusion: Narrative Evidence from the Sugar Institute Case," NBER Working Papers 8145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Jose Apesteguia & Martin Dufwenberg & Reinhard Selten, 2007. "Blowing the Whistle," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 143-166, April.
  28. repec:zbw:cauewp:201009 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. Compte, Olivier & Jenny, Frederic & Rey, Patrick, 2002. "Capacity constraints, mergers and collusion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-29, January.
  30. 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.
  31. Charness, Gary B & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2006. "Promises & Partnership," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0127h86v, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  32. Crawford, Vincent, 1998. "A Survey of Experiments on Communication via Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 286-298, February.
  33. 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.
  34. Erik O. Kimbrough & Vernon L. Smith & Bart J. Wilson, 2008. "Historical Property Rights, Sociality, and the Emergence of Impersonal Exchange in Long-Distance Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1009-39, June.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. Douglas Bernheim, B. & Ray, Debraj, 1989. "Collective dynamic consistency in repeated games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 295-326, December.
  38. 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.
  39. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:3:y:2002:i:6:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
  46. Joseph Farrell & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 103-118, Summer.
  47. MiguelA. Fonseca & Hans-Theo Normann, 2008. "Mergers, Asymmetries and Collusion: Experimental Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(527), pages 387-400, 03.
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.