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The Effects of Competition: Cartel Policy and the Evolution of Strategy and Structure in British Industry

Author

Listed:
  • George Symeonidis

    () (University of Essex)

Abstract

Policies to promote competition are high on the political agenda worldwide. But in a constantly changing marketplace, the effects of more intense competition on firm conduct, market structure, and industry performance are often hard to distinguish. This study combines game-theoretic models with empirical evidence from a "natural experiment" of policy reform. The introduction in the United Kingdom of the 1956 Restrictive Trade Practices Act led to the registration and subsequent abolition of explicit restrictive agreements between firms and the intensification of price competition across a range of manufacturing industries. An equally large number of industries were not affected by the legislation. Using data from before and after the 1956 act, this book compares the two groups of industries to determine the effect of price competition on concentration, firm and plant numbers, profitability, advertising intensity, and innovation. The book avoids two problems common to empirical studies of competition: how to measure the intensity of competition and how to unravel the links between competition and other variables. Because the change in the intensity of competition had an external cause, there is no need to measure the intensity of competition directly, and it is possible to identify one-way causal effects when estimating the impact of competition. The book also examines issues such as the industries in which collusion is more likely to occur; the effect of cartels and cartel laws on market structure and profitability; the links between competition, advertising, and innovation; and the constraints on the exercise of merger and antitrust policies.

Suggested Citation

  • George Symeonidis, 2002. "The Effects of Competition: Cartel Policy and the Evolution of Strategy and Structure in British Industry," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262194686, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262194686
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Christine Greenhalgh & Padraig Dixon, 2002. "The Economics of Intellectual Property: A Review to Identify Themes for Future Research," Economics Series Working Papers 135, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Vivek Sharma, 2011. "Stock returns and product market competition: beyond industry concentration," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 283-299, October.
    3. Jan Boone & Jacob K. Goeree, 2010. "Optimal market design," IEW - Working Papers 479, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    4. Vives, Xavier, 2004. "Innovation and Competitive Pressure," CEPR Discussion Papers 4369, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Alain Cortat, 2009. "How cartels stimulate innovation and R&D: Swiss cable firms, innovation and the cartel question," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(5), pages 754-769.
    6. Gärtner, Dennis L. & Zhou, Jun, 2012. "Delays in Leniency Application: Is There Really a Race to the Enforcer's Door?," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 395, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    7. Datta, Sudip & Iskandar-Datta, Mai & Singh, Vivek, 2013. "Product market power, industry structure, and corporate earnings management," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 3273-3285.
    8. Margaret C. Levenstein & Valerie Y. Suslow, 2011. "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Determinants of Cartel Duration," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(2), pages 455-492.
    9. repec:bla:apacel:v:31:y:2017:i:2:p:123-136 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Charles Bérubé & Marc Duhamel & Daniel Ershov, 2012. "Market Incentives for Business Innovation: Results from Canada," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 47-65, March.
    11. Xavier Vives, 2008. "INNOVATION AND COMPETITIVE PRESSURE -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 419-469, December.
    12. Pedro Mendi & Rodrigo Costamagna, 2015. "Managing Innovation under Competitive Pressure from Informal Producers Managing Innovation under Competitive Pressuire from Informal Producers," NCID Working Papers 10/2015, Navarra Center for International Development, University of Navarra.
    13. Jun Zhou, 2016. "The dynamics of leniency application and the knock-on effect of cartel enforcement," Working Papers 13042, Bruegel.
    14. Zhou, Jun, 2011. "Evaluating Leniency with Missing Information on Undetected Cartels: Exploring Time-Varying Policy Impacts on Cartel Duration," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 353, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    15. Mats Bergman, 2008. "Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? or Measuring and Evaluating the Effectiveness of Competition Enforcement," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(4), pages 387-409, December.
    16. Karuna, Christo, 2007. "Industry product market competition and managerial incentives," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2-3), pages 275-297, July.
    17. John M. Connor, 2002. "THE FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL GLOBAL CARTELS OF THE 1990s: OVERVIEW AND UPDATE," Working Papers 02-04, Purdue University, College of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    18. Aydin Çelen & Burak Gunalp, 2010. "Do Investigations of Competition Authorities Really Increase the Degree of Competition? An Answer From Turkish Cement Market," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2010(2), pages 150-168.
    19. John A. List, 2009. "The Economics of Open Air Markets," NBER Working Papers 15420, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Gärtner, D.L. & Zhou, J., 2012. "Delays in Leniency Application : Is There Really a Race to the Enforcer’s Door?," Discussion Paper 2012-044, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    21. Darong DAI & Kunrong SHEN, 2014. "Stochastic evolutionary cartel formation," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(1(590)), pages 7-26, January.
    22. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    United Kingdom; competition; industry; cartels;

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • L0 - Industrial Organization - - General
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General
    • N0 - Economic History - - General

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