IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/irlaec/v42y2015icp38-47.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Are cartel fines optimal? Theory and evidence from the European Union

Author

Listed:
  • Allain, Marie-Laure
  • Boyer, Marcel
  • Kotchoni, Rachidi
  • Ponssard, Jean-Pierre

Abstract

Deterring the formation or continuation of cartels is a major objective of antitrust policy. We develop a dynamic framework to characterize the compensation and deterrence properties of fines, based on the fact that cartel stability depends on the ability to prevent deviation, which itself depends in part on fines imposed in case of detection and conviction. We show that the proper consideration of cartel dynamics plays a major role in determining optimal deterrent fines. Our results suggest that fines imposed by the European Commission in recent years meet the deterrence objective in a significant number of cases.

Suggested Citation

  • Allain, Marie-Laure & Boyer, Marcel & Kotchoni, Rachidi & Ponssard, Jean-Pierre, 2015. "Are cartel fines optimal? Theory and evidence from the European Union," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 38-47.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:42:y:2015:i:c:p:38-47
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irle.2014.12.004
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0144818814000878
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Luca Aguzzoni & Gregor Langus & Massimo Motta, 2013. "The Effect of EU Antitrust Investigations and Fines on a Firm's Valuation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 290-338, June.
    2. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, March.
    3. Marcel Boyer & Georges Dionne, 1983. "Variations in the Probability and Magnitude of Loss: Their Impact on Risk," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 16(3), pages 411-419, August.
    4. Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
    5. Motta, Massimo & Polo, Michele, 2003. "Leniency programs and cartel prosecution," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 347-379, March.
    6. Boyer, Marcel & Lasserre, Pierre & Moreaux, Michel, 2012. "A dynamic duopoly investment game without commitment under uncertain market expansion," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 663-681.
    7. Motta,Massimo, 2004. "Competition Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521016919.
    8. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. James Andreoni, 1991. "Reasonable Doubt and the Optimal Magnitude of Fines: Should the Penalty Fit the Crime?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 385-395, Autumn.
    10. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "The Relation between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 921-947, October.
    11. James W. Friedman, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(1), pages 1-12.
    12. Bryant, Peter G & Eckard, E Woodrow, Jr, 1991. "Price Fixing: The Probability of Getting Caught," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 531-536, August.
    13. Baumol, William J, 1982. "Contestable Markets: An Uprising in the Theory of Industry Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 1-15, March.
    14. Bosch, Jean-Claude & Eckard, E Woodrow, Jr, 1991. "The Profitability of Price Fixing: Evidence from Stock Market Reaction to Federal Indictments," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(2), pages 309-317, May.
    15. Aubert, Cecile & Rey, Patrick & Kovacic, William E., 2006. "The impact of leniency and whistle-blowing programs on cartels," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1241-1266, November.
    16. Boyer, Marcel & Dionne, Georges, 1983. "Riscophobie et étalement à moyenne constante : analyse et applications," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 59(2), pages 208-229, juin.
    17. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2004. "Cartel Pricing Dynamics in the Presence of an Antitrust Authority," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(4), pages 651-673, Winter.
    18. Louis Kaplow, 2011. "On the Optimal Burden of Proof," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(6), pages 1104-1140.
    19. Marie-Laure Allain & Marcel Boyer & Rachidi Kotchoni & Jean-Pierre Ponssard, 2011. "The Determination of Optimal Fines in Cartel Cases The Myth of Underdeterrence," Working Papers hal-00631432, HAL.
    20. Catherine Durham & James Eales, 2010. "Demand elasticities for fresh fruit at the retail level," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(11), pages 1345-1354.
    21. Marcel Boyer & Rachidi Kotchoni, 2012. "How Much Do Cartels Typically Overcharge?," CIRANO Working Papers 2012s-15, CIRANO.
    22. Marcel Boyer & Tracy R. Lewis & Wei Lin Liu, 2000. "Setting standards for credible compliance and law enforcement," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(2), pages 319-340, May.
    23. Hinloopen, Jeroen, 2006. "Internal cartel stability with time-dependent detection probabilities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1213-1229, November.
    24. repec:dau:papers:123456789/13637 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Murat C. Mungan, 2011. "A Utilitarian Justification for Heightened Standards of Proof in Criminal Trials," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 167(2), pages 352-370, June.
    26. Harrington, Joseph E., 2014. "Penalties and the deterrence of unlawful collusion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 124(1), pages 33-36.
    27. Compte, Olivier & Jenny, Frederic & Rey, Patrick, 2002. "Capacity constraints, mergers and collusion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-29, January.
    28. John Thompson & David Kaserman, 2001. "After The Fall: Stock Price Movements and the Deterrent Effect of Antitrust Enforcement," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 19(3), pages 329-334, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Hüschelrath, Kai & Laitenberger, Ulrich, 2015. "The settlement procedure in EC cartel cases: An empirical assesment," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-064, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Marcel Boyer & Rachidi Kotchoni, 2015. "How Much Do Cartel Overcharge?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 47(2), pages 119-153, September.
    3. Marcel Boyer & Thomas W. Ross & Ralph A. Winter, 2017. "The rise of economics in competition policy: A Canadian perspective," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1489-1524, December.
    4. Marcel Boyer & Anne Catherine Faye & Rachidi Kotchoni, 2017. "Challenges and Pitfalls in Cartel Policy and Fining," CIRANO Working Papers 2017s-20, CIRANO.
    5. Cuiabano, Simone, 2017. "Competition Policy Evaluation through Damage Estimation in Fuel Retail Cartel," TSE Working Papers 17-847, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    6. Marcel Boyer & Rachidi Kotchoni, 2015. "How Much Do Cartel Overcharge? (The "Working Paper" Version)," CIRANO Working Papers 2015s-37, CIRANO.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cartels; Fines; Antitrust policy;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:42:y:2015:i:c:p:38-47. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/irle .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.