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The impact of leniency and whistle-blowing programs on cartels

  • Aubert, Cecile
  • Rey, Patrick
  • Kovacic, William E.

Antitrust authorities have set up leniency programs for cartel members that denounce their collusive agreements. These programs help prosecute participants and can thereby deter collusion. We compare the impact of reduced fines and positive rewards and argue that rewarding individuals, including firm employees, can deter collusion in a more effective way. We discuss possible adverse effects of whistle-blowing programs on firms' behavior, and particularly on turnover, incentives to innovate and cooperation. We also explore explanations for the puzzling fact that managers keep incriminating evidence and argue reward programs actually provide additional incentives for keeping such evidence.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 24 (2006)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 1241-1266

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:24:y:2006:i:6:p:1241-1266
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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  1. David Genesove & Wallace P. Mullin, 2001. "Rules, Communication and Collusion: Narrative Evidence from the Sugar Institute Case," NBER Working Papers 8145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Martimort, David, 1998. "Mechanism Design with Collusion and Correlation," IDEI Working Papers 81, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
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  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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  8. Athey, Susan & Bagwell, Kyle, 2001. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 428-65, Autumn.
  9. Frezal, Sylvestre, 2006. "On optimal cartel deterrence policies," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1231-1240, November.
  10. Green, Edward J. & Porter, Robert H., 1982. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Working Papers 367, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  11. Glenn Ellison, 1994. "Theories of Cartel Stability and the Joint Executive Committee," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 37-57, Spring.
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  13. Bengt Holmstrom, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 74-91, Spring.
  14. Motta, Massimo & Polo, Michele, 2003. "Leniency programs and cartel prosecution," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 347-379, March.
  15. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2003. "Cartel Pricing Dynamics in the Presence of an Antitrust Authority," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 26, Society for Computational Economics.
  16. Laffont, J.J. & Martimort, D., 1996. "Collusion Under Asymmetric Information," Papers 95.389, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  17. 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).
  18. Innes, Robert, 1999. "Remediation and self-reporting in optimal law enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 379-393, June.
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