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Statistics On Modern Private International Cartels, 1990-2005

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Author Info

  • John Connor

    ()

  • C. Gustav Helmers

    ()
    (Department of Agricultural Economics, College of Agriculture, Purdue University)

Abstract

This report explains the principal economic and legal features of a unique set of data on 283 modern private international cartels discovered anywhere in the world from January 1990 to the end of 2005. Measured in real 2005 money, aggregate cartel sales and overcharges totaled about $1.2 trillion and $500 billion, respectively. In the early 2000s, about 35 such cartels were discovered each year. We find that global cartels comprise more than half of the sample’s affected sales and are larger, longer lasting, and more injurious than other types. In the early 2000s world-wide corporate penalties stabilized at or above $2 billion per year, one-thousand times penalties in the early 1990s. More than 40% of those penalties were from settlements in private suits, and most of the rest are fines imposed by U.S. and EU antitrust authorities. Median penalties are low: from 1.4% to 4.9% of affected sales, depending on the type of prosecution. As a proportion of damages, median fines ranged from less than 1% for EU-wide cartels to 17.6% for Canada. Private plaintiffs obtained 38% of damages from international cartelists. World wide, median real cartel penalties of all types amounted to less than 5% of overcharges. [See Summary next page for more details]

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Purdue University, College of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics in its series Working Papers with number 06-11.

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Length: 86 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pae:wpaper:06-11

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Keywords: cartel; price fixing; overcharge; antitrust enforcement; optimal deterrence;

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References

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  1. Margaret Levenstein & Valerie Suslow & Lynda Oswald, 2003. "International Price-Fixing Cartels and Developing Countries: A Discussion of Effects and Policy Remedies," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 538, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  2. Margaret C. Levenstein & Valerie Y. Suslow, 2002. "What Determines Cartel Success?," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2002-01, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  3. Lynda Oswald & Valerie Suslow & Margaret Levenstein & Manuel Pastor, 2003. "International Price-Fixing Cartels and Developing Countries: A Discussion of Effects and Policy Remedies," Working Papers wp53, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  4. John Connor, 2006. "Effectiveness of Antitrust Sanctions on Modern International Cartels," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 195-223, December.
  5. Margaret Levenstein & Valerie Suslow & Lynda Oswald, 2003. "International Price-Fixing Cartels and Developing Countries: A Discussion of Effects and Policy Remedies," NBER Working Papers 9511, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Connor, John M., 2005. "Price-Fixing Overcharges: Legal And Economic Evidence," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19254, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  7. John M. Connor, 2003. "Private International Cartels: Effectiveness, Welfare, and Anticartel Enforcement," Working Papers 03-12, Purdue University, College of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Sylwester Bejger, 2011. "Polish cement industry cartel - preliminary examination of collusion existence," Business and Economic Horizons (BEH), Prague Development Center, vol. 4(1), pages 88-107, January.
  2. Bejger, Sylwester, 2012. "Cartel in the Indian cement industry: An attempt to identify it," Economics Discussion Papers 2012-18, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  3. Aitor Ciarreta, 2012. "Cartels and regulation: effects on prices and real sales in sweden (1976–1990)," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 127-146, August.
  4. Hoekman, Bernard & Martin, Will, 2012. "Reducing distortions in international commodity markets : an agenda for multilateral cooperation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5928, The World Bank.

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