Price wars and the stability of collusion: a study of the pre-World War I bromine industry

The US bromine industry's collusion to raise prices covering the period 1885 to 1914 was analyzed to ascertain if the price wars that erupted during those years stabilized collusion or disintegrated it. Several economists have argued that price wars may be a necessity for the stability of a cartel and that they take place as a response to exogenous shocks. The results of the study showed that the price wars that ensued in the pre-World War I bromine industry were consistent with successful collusion and do not point to a breakdown in collusion.