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The Impact of a Corporate Leniency Program on Antitrust Enforcement and Cartelization

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  • Myong-Hun Chang
  • Joseph E. Harrington, Jr.

Abstract

To explore the efficacy of a corporate leniency program, a Markov process is constructed which models the stochastic formation and demise of cartels. Cartels are born when given the opportunity and market conditions are right, while cartels die because of internal collapse or they are caught and convicted by the antitrust authority. The likelihood that a cartel, once identified, is convicted depends inversely on the caseload of the antitrust authority due to an implicit resource constraint. The authority also chooses an enforcement policy in terms of the fraction of non-leniency cases that it prosecutes. Using numerical analysis, the impact of a leniency program on the steady-state cartel rate is investigated. Holding the enforcement policy of the antitrust authority fixed, a leniency program lowers the frequency of cartels. However, the additional caseload provided by the leniency program induces the antitrust authority to prosecute a smaller fraction of cartel cases identified outside of the program. Because of this less aggressive enforcement policy, it is possible that the cartel rate is higher when there is a leniency program.

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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 548.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:jhu:papers:548

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  1. Motta, Massimo & Polo, Michele, 2000. "Leniency Programs and Cartel Prosecution," CEPR Discussion Papers 2349, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Joseph E. Harrington & Myong-Hun Chang, 2009. "Modeling the Birth and Death of Cartels with an Application to Evaluating Competition Policy," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(6), pages 1400-1435, December.
  3. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr, 2006. "Modelling the Birth and Death of Cartels with an Application to Evaluating Antitrust Policy," Economics Working Paper Archive 532, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  4. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr, 2005. "Optimal Corporate Leniency Programs," Economics Working Paper Archive 527, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Gärtner, Dennis L. & Zhou, Jun, 2012. "Delays in Leniency Application: Is There Really a Race to the Enforcer's Door?," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 395, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  3. Hyytinen, Ari & Steen, Frode & Toivanen, Otto, 2010. "Cartels Uncovered," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 10/2010, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics.
  4. Joan Ramón Borrell & Juan Luís Jiménez & Carmen García, 2012. "Evaluating antitrust leniency programs," Working Papers XREAP2012-01, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Jan 2012.

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