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Fines, Leniency and Rewards in Antitrust: an Experiment

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  • Bigoni, Maria
  • Fridolfsson, Sven-Olof
  • Le Coq, Chloé
  • Spagnolo, Giancarlo

Abstract

This paper reports results from an experiment studying how fines, leniency programs and reward schemes for whistleblowers affect cartel formation and prices. Antitrust without leniency reduces cartel formation, but increases cartel prices: subjects use costly fines as (altruistic) punishments. Leniency further increases deterrence, but stabilizes surviving cartels: subjects appear to anticipate harsher times after defections as leniency reduces recidivism and lowers post-conviction prices. With rewards, cartels are reported systematically and prices finally fall. If a ringleader is excluded from leniency, deterrence is unaffected but prices grow. Differences between treatments in Stockholm and Rome suggest culture may affect optimal law enforcement.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7417.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7417

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Keywords: Cartels; Collusion; Competition policy; Coordination; Corporate crime; Desistance; Deterrence; Law enforcement; Organized crime; Price-fixing; Punishment; Whistleblowers;

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  1. Fudenberg, Drew & Dreber, Anna & Rand, David G. & Nowak, Martin, 2008. "Winners Don't Punish," Scholarly Articles 2252594, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Fonseca, Miguel A. & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2012. "Explicit vs. tacit collusion—The impact of communication in oligopoly experiments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1759-1772.
  2. Yassine LEFOUILI & Catherine ROUX, 2008. "Leniency Programs for Multimarket Firms: The Effect of Amnesty Plus on Cartel Formation," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 08.05, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  3. Jeroen Hinloopen & Adriaan Soetevent, 2008. "From Overt to Tacit Collusion," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-059/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  4. Jay Pil Choi & Heiko Gerlach, 2010. "Global Cartels, Leniency Programs and International Antitrust Cooperation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3005, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. repec:dgr:uvatin:2010120 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Klaus Abbink & Utteeyo Dasgupta & Lata Gangadharan & Tarun Jain, 2013. "Letting the Briber Go Free: An Experiment on Mitigating Harassment Bribes," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 62-13, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  7. Normann, Hans-Theo & Rösch, Jürgen & Schultz, Luis Manuel, 2012. "Do buyer groups facilitate collusion?," DICE Discussion Papers 74, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  8. Bos Iwan & Wandschneider Frederick, 2011. "Cartel Ringleaders and the Corporate Leniency Program," Research Memorandum 038, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  9. Johannes Paha, 2013. "The Impact of Persistent Shocks and Concave Objective Functions on Collusive Behavior," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201328, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  10. Clemens, Georg & Rau, Holger A., 2014. "Do leniency policies facilitate collusion? Experimental evidence," DICE Discussion Papers 130, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).

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