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Modelling the Birth and Death of Cartels with an Application to Evaluating Antitrust Policy

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  • Joseph E. Harrington, Jr

Abstract

One of the primary challenges to measuring the impact of antitrust policy on collusion is that the cartel population is unobservable; we observe only the population of discovered cartels. To address this challenge, a model of cartel creation and dissolution is developed to endogenously derive the populations of cartels and discovered cartels. It is then shown how one can infer the impact of antitrust policy on the population of cartels by measuring its impact on the population of discovered cartels. In particular, the change in the distribution on the duration of discovered cartels could be informative in assessing whether a new antitrust policy is reducing the latent rate of cartels.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number 532.

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Date of creation: Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:jhu:papers:532

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  1. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2004. "Cartel Pricing Dynamics in the Presence of an Antitrust Authority," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(4), pages 651-673, Winter.
  2. Joseph E Harrington, 2001. "Optimal Cartel Pricing in the Presence of an Antitrust Authority," Economics Working Paper Archive 460, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Jul 2002.
  3. Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2006. "Leniency and Whistleblowers in Antitrust," CEPR Discussion Papers 5794, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Joe Chen & Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2005. "The Impact of the Corporate Leniency Program on Cartel Formation and the Cartel Price Path," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-358, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  5. Reinhard Selten, 1973. "A Simple Model of Imperfect Competition, where 4 are Few and 6 are Many," Working Papers 008, Bielefeld University, Center for Mathematical Economics.
  6. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr. & Joe Chen, 2005. "Cartel Pricing Dynamics with Cost Variability and Endogenous Buyer Detection," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-359, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  7. Philippe Cyrenne, 1999. "On Antitrust Enforcement and the Deterrence of Collusive Behaviour," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 257-272, May.
  8. Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1986. "A Supergame-Theoretic Model of Price Wars during Booms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 390-407, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Hyytinen, Ari & Steen, Frode & Toivanen, Otto, 2010. "Cartels Uncovered," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 10/2010, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics.
  2. Myong-Hun Chang & Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2008. "The Impact of a Corporate Leniency Program on Antitrust Enforcement and Cartelization," Economics Working Paper Archive 548, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  3. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2011. "Corporate Leniency with Private Information: The Push of Prosecution and the Pull of Pre-emption," Economics Working Paper Archive 573, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  4. Chen, Zhijun & Rey, Patrick, 2007. "On the Design of Leniency Programs," IDEI Working Papers 452, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Jan 2012.
  5. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2009. "When Does a Self-Serving Antitrust Authority Act in Society's Best Interests?," Economics Working Paper Archive 549, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  6. Dessí, Roberta & Piccolo, Salvatore, 2009. "Two is Company, N is a Crowd? Merchant Guilds and Social Capital," CEPR Discussion Papers 7374, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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