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Strictness of Leniency Programs and Cartels of Asymmetric Firms

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  • Motchenkova, E.
  • Laan, R.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

This paper studies the effects of leniency programs on the behavior of firms participating in illegal cartel agreements.The main contribution of the paper is that we consider asymmetric firms.In general, firms differ in size and operate in several different markets.In our model, they form a cartel in one market only.This asymmetry results in additional costs in case of disclosure of the cartel, which are caused by an asymmetric reduction of the sales in other markets due to a negative reputation effect.This modeling framework can also be applied to the case of international cartels, where firms are subject to different punishment procedures according to the laws of their countries, or in situations where following an application for leniency firms are subject to costs other than the fine itself and where these costs depend on individual characteristics of the firm.Moreover, following the rules of existing Leniency Programs, we analyze the effects of the strictness of the Leniency Programs, which reflects the likelihood of getting complete exemption from the fine even in case many firms self-report simultaneously.Our main results are that, first, leniency programs work better for small (less diversified) companies, in the sense that a lower rate of law enforcement is needed in order to induce self-reporting by less diversified firms.At the same time, big (more diversified) firms are less likely to start a cartel in the first place given the possibility of self-reporting in the future.Second, the more cartelized the economy, the less strict the rules of leniency programs should be.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2005-74.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:200574

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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

Related research

Keywords: Antitrust Policy; Antitrust Law; Self-reporting; Leniency Programs;

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References

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  1. Louis Kaplow & Steven Shavell, 1991. "Optimal Law Enforcement with Self-Reporting of Behavior," NBER Working Papers 3822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. José Apesteguia & Martin Dufwenberg & Reinhard Selten, 2003. "Blowing the Whistle," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse9_2003, University of Bonn, Germany.
  3. Innes, Robert, 1999. "Remediation and self-reporting in optimal law enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 379-393, June.
  4. Nuno Garoupa, 2000. "Optimal magnitude and probability of fines," Economics Working Papers 454, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  5. Motta, Massimo & Polo, Michele, 2000. "Leniency Programs and Cartel Prosecution," CEPR Discussion Papers 2349, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Garoupa, Nuno, 1997. " The Theory of Optimal Law Enforcement," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 267-95, September.
  7. Malik Arun S., 1993. "Self-Reporting and the Design of Policies for Regulating Stochastic Pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 241-257, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Catherine ROUX & Thomas VON UNGERN-STERNBERG, 2007. "Leniency Programs in a Multimarket Setting: Amnesty Plus and Penalty Plus," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 07.03, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  2. Alfredo Burlando & Alberto Motta, 2007. "Self Reporting reduces corruption in law enforcement," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0063, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  3. Leliefeld, Daniel & Motchenkova, Evgenia, 2007. "To protect in order to serve, adverse effects of leniency programs in view of industry asymmetry," Serie Research Memoranda 0002, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  4. Brenner, Steffen, 2009. "An empirical study of the European corporate leniency program," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 639-645, November.
  5. Zhou, Jun, 2011. "Evaluating Leniency with Missing Information on Undetected Cartels: Exploring Time-Varying Policy Impacts on Cartel Duration," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 353, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.

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