Identifying Participants in a Price-fixing Conspiracy: Output & Market Share Tests Reexamined

Identifying Participants in a Price-fixing Conspiracy: Output & Market Share Tests Reexamined If there is a cartel agreement among a subset of firms in an industry, it should be predicted that all firms in that industry will increase prices. Nevertheless, industry prices alone should not indicate that a particular firm is guilty of that conspiracy. According to the output test and its market share variant – proposed by Blair and Romano – if the output or the market share of the firm that claims to be innocent in the collusive activity rises in response to the price increase, that firm's claim should be accepted as true. Using a collusive variant of the dominant firm model, this paper shows that these are not robust tests to reveal either innocence or guilt, and characterizes cases where they may pardon a guilty firm (Type I error) or indict an innocent firm (Type II error). This paper also shows that a market share test can not be used to prove a dominant firm's intent for predatory pricing. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Industrial Organization Springer Journals

Identifying Participants in a Price-fixing Conspiracy: Output & Market Share Tests Reexamined

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 1997 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Economics; Industrial Organization; Microeconomics
ISSN
0889-938X
eISSN
1573-7160
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1007774525678
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

If there is a cartel agreement among a subset of firms in an industry, it should be predicted that all firms in that industry will increase prices. Nevertheless, industry prices alone should not indicate that a particular firm is guilty of that conspiracy. According to the output test and its market share variant – proposed by Blair and Romano – if the output or the market share of the firm that claims to be innocent in the collusive activity rises in response to the price increase, that firm's claim should be accepted as true. Using a collusive variant of the dominant firm model, this paper shows that these are not robust tests to reveal either innocence or guilt, and characterizes cases where they may pardon a guilty firm (Type I error) or indict an innocent firm (Type II error). This paper also shows that a market share test can not be used to prove a dominant firm's intent for predatory pricing.

Journal

Review of Industrial OrganizationSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 29, 2004

References

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