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Cartel Detection in Procurement Markets

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  • Kai Hüschelrath
  • Tobias Veith

Abstract

Cartel detection is usually viewed as a key task of either competition authorities or compliance officials in firms with an elevated risk of cartelization. We argue that customers of hard‐core cartels can have both incentives and possibilities to detect such agreements on their own initiative through the use of market‐specific datasets. We apply a unique dataset of about 340,000 market transactions from 36 smaller and larger customers of German cement producers and show that a price screen would have allowed particularly larger customers to detect the upstream cement cartel before the competition authority. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Kai Hüschelrath & Tobias Veith, 2014. "Cartel Detection in Procurement Markets," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 35(6), pages 404-422, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:35:y:2014:i:6:p:404-422
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ali Hortaçsu & Chad Syverson, 2007. "Cementing Relationships: Vertical Integration, Foreclosure, Productivity, and Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 250-301.
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    5. Porter, Robert H & Zona, J Douglas, 1993. "Detection of Bid Rigging in Procurement Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 518-538, June.
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    7. Lars-Hendrik Röller & Frode Steen, 2006. "On the Workings of a Cartel: Evidence from the Norwegian Cement Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 321-338, March.
    8. Abrantes-Metz, Rosa M. & Froeb, Luke M. & Geweke, John & Taylor, Christopher T., 2006. "A variance screen for collusion," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 467-486, May.
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    10. 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.
    11. Hüschelrath, Kai & Veith, Tobias, 2011. "The impact of cartelization on pricing dynamics: Evidence from the German cement industry," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-067, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    12. Robert H. Porter & J. Douglas Zona, 1999. "Ohio School Milk Markets: An Analysis of Bidding," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 263-288, Summer.
    13. Bolotova, Yuliya V., 2009. "Cartel overcharges: An empirical analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 321-341, May.
    14. Hans W. Friederiszick & Lars-Hendrik Röller, 2010. "Quantification of harm in damages actions for antitrust infringements: Insights from German cartel cases," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-10-001, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
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    Cited by:

    1. Harrington, Joseph E. & Hüschelrath, Kai & Laitenberger, Ulrich & Smuda, Florian, 2015. "The discontent cartel member and cartel collapse: The case of the German cement cartel," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 106-119.
    2. Kai Hüschelrath & Kathrin Müller & Tobias Veith, 2016. "Estimating damages from price-fixing: the value of transaction data," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 509-535, June.
    3. Bedri Kamil Onur Tas, 2017. "Collusion Detection in Public Procurement with Limited Information," Working Papers 1127, Economic Research Forum, revised 08 Oct 2017.
    4. Kai Hüschelrath & Tobias Veith, 2016. "Cartelization, Cartel Breakdown, and Price Behavior: Evidence from the German Cement Industry," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 81-100, March.
    5. Hunold, Matthias & Hüschelrath, Kai & Laitenberger, Ulrich & Muthers, Johannes, 2017. "Competition, collusion and spatial sales patterns: Theory and evidence," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-035, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Korbinian von Blanckenburg & Marc Hanfeld & Konstantin A. Kholodilin, 2013. "A Market Screening Model for Price Inconstancies: Empirical Evidence from German Electricity Markets," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1274, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    7. Hüschelrath, Kai & Veith, Tobias, 2011. "The impact of cartelization on pricing dynamics: Evidence from the German cement industry," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-067, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L61 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Metals and Metal Products; Cement; Glass; Ceramics
    • M11 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Production Management
    • M21 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - Business Economics
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law

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