Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Social-Welfare-Enhancing Collusion and Trade

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

George Deltas, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics, Alberto Salvo, Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management and Helder Vasconcelos, Universidade do Porto - Faculdade de Economia (FEP) analyze Social-Welfare-Enhancing Collusion and Trade.

ABSTRACT: Deltas, Salvo and Vasconcelos (2011) develop a model of geographically separated markets with differentiated goods in which collusion (or merger to monopoly), by restricting trade relative to duopolistic competition, is beneficial for society and can be beneficial for consumers. In this chapter, we provide additional results as well as an extension of that model. We show that a social planner would further restrict trade than the perfect cartel would, and how the socially optimal market allocation can be induced through a system of taxes and subsidies, or through "anti-dumping" regulation. We generalize the model to allow for home biased consumer tastes and show that our original analysis is robust. We also consider whether autarky can improve social welfare over market-based trade regimes, in the spirit of Brander and Krugman (1983).

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