Market Segmentation and Collusive Behavior
30 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2006
Date Written: May 15, 2006
The recent literature on oligopolistic third-degree price discrimination has been primarily concerned with rival firms' incentives to acquire customer-specific information and the consequences of such information on firm profitability and welfare. This literature has taken mostly a static view of the interaction between competing firms. In contrast, in this paper, we investigate the impact of customer-specific information on the likelihood of tacit collusion in a dynamic game of repeated interaction. This issue is very important because competitive price discrimination usually leads to a cutthroat price competition (prisoners' dilemma) among firms. Firms, therefore, may seek ways to soften competition and sustain higher prices. Our main result is that collusion becomes more difficult as the firms' ability to segment consumers improves.
Keywords: Market segmentation, Tacit collusion, Third-degree price
JEL Classification: D43, L11, L43
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation