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When Does a Self-Serving Antitrust Authority Act in Society's Best Interests?

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  • Joseph E. Harrington, Jr.
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    Abstract

    If an antitrust authority chooses policies to maximize the number of successfully prosecuted cartels, when do those policies also serve to minimize the number of cartels that form? When the detection and prosecution of cartels is inherently difficult, we find that an antitrust authority¡¯s policies minimize the number of cartels, as is socially desirable. But when the detection and prosecution of cartels is not difficult, an antitrust authority is not aggressive enough in that it prosecutes too few cartel cases.

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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 549.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:jhu:papers:549

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    1. Motta, M. & Polo, M., 1999. "Leniency Programs and Cartel Prosecution," Economics Working Papers eco99/23, European University Institute.
    2. Besanko, David & Spulber, Daniel F, 1989. "Antitrust Enforcement under Asymmetric Information," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(396), pages 408-25, June.
    3. 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.
    4. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr, 2005. "Optimal Corporate Leniency Programs," Economics Working Paper Archive 527, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
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