This paper studies equilibrium selection in the retail gasoline industry. We exploit a unique dataset that contains the universe of station-level prices for an urban market for 15 years, and that encompasses a coordinated equilibrium transition mid-sample. We uncover a gradual, three-year transition, whereby dominant firms use price leadership and price experiments to create focal points that coordinate market prices, soften price competition, and enhance retail margins. Our results inform the theory of collusion, with particular relevance for the initiation of collusion and equilibrium selection. We also highlight new insights for merger policy and collusion detection strategies.


12.09.2017 | 14:00- 15:30

Event Location
ZEW, L 7,1 D-68161 Mannheim
Heinz König Hall