Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Seminar Papers,
Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies


Thomas P. TangerĂ¥s ()
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Thomas P. TangerĂ¥s: The Research Institute of Industrial Economics, IUI, Postal: Industriens Utredningsinstitut, Box 5501, SE-11485 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: This paper analyses the incentives for collusion when an industry is regulated by means of yardstick competition. The central assumption is that firms must write collusive side contracts before the revelation of private information and are unable to communicate later. It is shown that optimal collusion-proof regulation demands more high-powered (low-powered) incentives to high-productivity (low-productivity) firms than prescribed by the second-best contract. Collusion is costly to society also when correlation of private information is near perfect. This contrasts with the result by Laffont and Martimort (1998b), that the cost of collusion vanishes in the limit.

Keywords: Yardstick competition; collusion; regulation

JEL-codes: L51

39 pages, November 12, 1999

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