IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

How Do Cartels Operate?


  • Harrington, Joseph E.


This paper distills and organizes facts about cartels from about 20 European Commission decisions over 2000–2004. It describes the properties of a collusive outcome in terms of the setting of price and a market allocation, monitoring of agreements with respect to price but more importantly sales, punishment methods for enforcing an agreement and also the use of buy-backs to compensate cartel members, methods for responding to external disruptions from non-cartel suppliers and handling over-zealous sales representatives, and operational procedures in terms of the frequency of meetings and the cartel's organizational structure.

Suggested Citation

  • Harrington, Joseph E., 2006. "How Do Cartels Operate?," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 2(1), pages 1-105, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:fntmic:0700000021

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:now:fntmic:0700000021. 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: (Alet Heezemans). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.