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International Cartel Enforcement: Lessons from the 1990s

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  • Simon J. Evenett
  • Margaret C. Levenstein
  • Valerie Y. Suslow

Abstract

The enforcement record of the 1990s has demonstrated that international private cartels are neither relics of the past nor do they always fall quickly under the weight of their own incentive problems. Of a sample of forty cartels prosecuted by the United States and European Inion in the 1990s, twenty-four cartels lasted at least four years. And for the twenty of the cartels in this sample where sales data are available, the annual worldwide sales in the affected products exceeded US$30 billion. Prevailing national competition policies are oriented towards addressing harm done in domestic markets, and in some cases merely prohibit cartels without taking strong enforcement measures. In this paper we propose a sequence of reforms to national policies and to international cooperation that will strengthen the deterrents against international cartels. Furthermore, aggressive prosecution of cartels must be complemented by vigilance in other areas of competition policy. If not, firms will respond to the enhanced deterrents to cartelisation by merging or by taking other measures that lessen competitive pressures. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2001.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon J. Evenett & Margaret C. Levenstein & Valerie Y. Suslow, 2001. "International Cartel Enforcement: Lessons from the 1990s," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(9), pages 1221-1245, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:24:y:2001:i:9:p:1221-1245
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dick, Andrew R, 1996. "When Are Cartels Stable Contracts?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(1), pages 241-283, April.
    2. Kaplow, Louis & Shavell, Steven, 2002. "Economic analysis of law," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 25, pages 1661-1784 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ajit Singh, 2006. "Competition and Competition Policy in Emerging Markets: International and Developmental Dimensions," Chapters,in: Growth and Economic Development, chapter 12 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Cai, Xiaowei & Stiegert, Kyle W., 2010. "Cartel Dissolution with Effective Antitrust Policy," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 61297, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Cosnita-Langlais, Andreea & Tropeano, Jean-Philippe, 2013. "Fight cartels or control mergers? On the optimal allocation of enforcement efforts within competition policy," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 34-40.
    4. John M. Connor, 2004. "Global Antitrust Prosecutions of Modern International Cartels," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 239-267, September.
    5. Prof. Xiaowei Cai Ph.D, 2011. "Antitrust Agencies And Hard-Core Cartels: A Game Theoretic Perspective," Revista Tinerilor Economisti (The Young Economists Journal), University of Craiova, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 1(17), pages 150-161, November.
    6. van Bergeijk, P.A.G., 2009. "What could anti-trust in the OECD do for development?," ISS Working Papers - General Series 18720, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    7. Colombo, Luca & Labrecciosa, Paola, 2013. "How should commodities be taxed? A supergame-theoretic analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 196-205.
    8. Cook, Paul, 2002. "Competition Policy, Market Power and Collusion in Developing Countries," Centre on Regulation and Competition (CRC) Working papers 30681, University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM).
    9. Benchekroun, Hassan & Gaudet, Gerard & Van Long, Ngo, 2006. "Temporary natural resource cartels," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 663-674, November.
    10. Marc Escrihuela-Villar, 2016. "On the price effects of collusion and the number of firms," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(3), pages 1694-1704.
    11. Levenstein, Margaret C. & Sivadasan, Jagadeesh & Suslow, Valerie Y., 2015. "The effect of competition on trade: Evidence from the collapse of international cartels," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 56-70.
    12. Bertrand, Olivier & Ivaldi, Marc, 2006. "European Competition Policy in International Markets," IDEI Working Papers 419, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    13. Neubecker, Leslie, 2002. "The strategic effect of debt in dynamic price competition with fluctuating demand," Tübinger Diskussionsbeiträge 250, University of Tübingen, School of Business and Economics.
    14. Boone, Jan & Žigić, Krešimir, 2015. "Trade policy in markets with collusion: The case of North–South R&D spillovers," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 224-237.
    15. 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.
    16. Labrecciosa Paola & Colombo Luca, 2010. "Technology Uncertainty and Market Collusion," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-17, March.
    17. Michael A. Utton, 2011. "Cartels and Economic Collusion," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14208.
    18. Sánchez Navarro, Dennis, 2013. "Eficacia y asimetrías de los programas de delación en un contexto multi-mercado: un análisis del caso colombiano en el marco del TLC con Estados Unidos
      [Efficacy and asymmetries of the leniency pro
      ," MPRA Paper 48699, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Peter Ormosi, Stephen Davies, Martin Graffenberger, . "Mergers after cartels: How markets react to cartel breakdown," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(3).
    20. Escrihuela-Villar Marc, 2016. "On Merger Profitability and the Intensity of Rivalry," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(2), pages 1203-1212, April.
    21. Robert M. Feinberg, 2016. "Anti-cartel enforcement and subsequent mergers: state-level evidence for physician groups," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(1), pages 365-372.

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