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American Economic Review: Vol. 97 No. 5 (December 2007)

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Impossibility of Collusion under Imperfect Monitoring with Flexible Production

Article Citation

Sannikov, Yuliy, and Andrzej Skrzypacz. 2007. "Impossibility of Collusion under Imperfect Monitoring with Flexible Production." American Economic Review, 97(5): 1794-1823.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.5.1794

Abstract

We show that it is impossible to achieve collusion in a duopoly when (a) goods are homogenous and firms compete in quantities; (b) new, noisy information arrives continuously, without sudden events; and (c) firms are able to respond to new information quickly. The result holds even if we allow for asymmetric equilibria or monetary transfers. The intuition is that the flexibility to respond quickly to new information unravels any collusive scheme. Our result applies to both a simple stationary model and a more complicated one, with prices following a mean-reverting Markov process, as well as to models of dynamic cooperation in many other settings. (JEL D43, L12, L13)

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Authors

Sannikov, Yuliy
Skrzypacz, Andrzej

JEL Classifications

D43: Market Structure and Pricing: Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
L12: Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
L13: Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets


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