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  • Author: Alberto Zazzaro x
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Abstract

In some European countries, the liberalization of the motor insurance market in the 1990s led to substantial increases in fares and claims throughout the whole decade. In this paper we argue that these phenomena are due to the impact of liberalization on companies' optimal incentives to fight fraud. By developing a circular city competition model with a cost-reducing stage prior to the price game and a settlement stage following it, we show that price deregulation entails decreasing monitoring investments and increasing claims both in the short and long run. Even equilibrium premiums may steadily increase if the ``competition effect" connected to new entries is outweighed by a ``monitoring effect" that raises marginal costs.

Abstract

The literature on collusive cartels has mainly focused on the impact of antitrust fines on the sustainability of cartels, in infinitely repeated games. This approach, however, does not allow us to study the effect of antitrust fines on the incentives to form cartels in the first place. In this paper, we adopt a coalitional game approach to modeling collusive agreements, showing that antitrust fines may drive firms from partial cartels to a monopolistic cartel. Moreover, by introducing uncertainty on market demand, we show that the socially optimal competition policy can call for a finite or even zero antitrust penalty, even if there are no enforcement costs. We provide a sufficient condition for these results to apply to any coalitional game of cartel formation with symmetric firms. Then, we discuss the extension to asymmetric firms and dynamic collusion.