Robust Collusion with Private Information
Review of Economic Studies, 2012, vol. 79, issue 2, 778-811
The game-theoretic literature on collusion has been hard pressed to explain why a cartel should engage in price wars, without resorting to either impatience, symmetry restrictions, inability to communicate, or failure to optimize. This paper introduces a new explanation that relies on none of these assumptions: if the cartel's member firms have private information about their costs, price wars can be optimal in the face of complexity. Specifically, equilibria that are robust to pay-off irrelevant disruptions of the information environment generically cannot attain or approximate efficiency. An optimal robust equilibrium must allocate market shares inefficiently and may call for price wars under certain conditions. For a two-firm cartel, cost interdependence is a sufficient condition for price wars to arise in an optimal robust equilibrium. That optimal equilibria are inefficient generically applies not only to collusion games but also to the entire separable pay-off environment--a class that includes most typical economic models. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (18) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
Working Paper: The dynamic cost of ex post incentive compatibility in repeated games of private information (2005)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:oup:restud:v:79:y:2012:i:2:p:778-811
Access Statistics for this article
Review of Economic Studies is currently edited by Andrea Prat, Bruno Biais, Kjetil Storesletten and Enrique Sentana
More articles in Review of Economic Studies from Oxford University Press
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Oxford University Press () and Christopher F. Baum ().