PhD ceremony: B.M. Overvest, 14.45 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Thesis: Essays on the theory of collusion
Promotor(s): prof. J.L. Moraga-Gonzalez
Faculty: Economics and Business
Voluntary cooperation between independent actors typically promotes social welfare. Collusion, which can be defined as the overt or tacit coordination between firms on one or more strategic variables such as price or advertising, is an important exception to this principle. When two or more firms coordinate on a high price, they may increase their joint profits, but typically ignore the negative externality they impose on consumers. As a result, collusion between firms has, in general, a negative impact on social welfare. This is why collusive agreements are subject to legal prosecution in the United States, member states of the European Union, Canada, and many other countries. Many important aspects of collusion are still poorly understood. This thesis therefore aims to shed light on a few of those aspects. Using existing game-theoretic models when possible and proposing new frameworks when necessary, the chapters in this thesis contribute to a better understanding of cartels. Each chapter is intended to appeal to both academics and economists at antitrust authorities or in policy circles.
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