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Hypothesis Testing Approach to Detecting Collusion in Competitive Environments
arXiv - CS - Computer Science and Game Theory Pub Date : 2020-03-22 , DOI: arxiv-2003.09967
Pedro Hespanhol; Anil Aswani

There is growing concern about the possibility for tacit collusion using algorithmic pricing, and regulators need tools to help detect the possibility of such collusion. This paper studies how to design a hypothesis testing framework in order to decide whether agents are behaving competitively or not. In our setting, agents are utility-maximizing and compete over prices of items. A regulator, with no knowledge of the agent's utility function, has access only to the agents' strategies (i.e., pricing decisions) and external shock values in order to decide if agents are behaving in competition according to some equilibrium problem. We leverage the formulation of such a problem as an inverse variational inequality and design a hypothesis test under a minimal set of assumptions. We demonstrate our method with computational experiments of the famous Bertrand competition game (with and without collusion) and show how our method performs in this environment.
更新日期:2020-03-24

 

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