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Cartel Organization and Antitrust Enforcement


  • Zhijun

    () (ESRC Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia)


This paper incorporates the economic theory of organizations into the framework of public law enforcement, and characterizes the dual-coalition structure of cartel organization that allows us to highlight the strategic interactions between cartel participants under different antitrust policies. We show that delegation of authorities over collusive decisions from top executives to subordinates can mitigate the temptation of renege on collusive relationships and thus contributes to facilitating collusion. This result parallels the insights in Baker, Gibbons and Murphy (2002, 2006) which find that the optimal allocation of decision rights is to minimize the maximum temptation to renege on relational contracts. Moreover, the efficiency gains of delegation in facilitating collusion can be mitigated when the corporate leniency program is introduced, in particular whenever it is unlikely to detect cartels absent leniency and the corporate liability is muc more significant than individual liability.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhijun, 2008. "Cartel Organization and Antitrust Enforcement," Working Papers 08-21, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia.
  • Handle: RePEc:ccp:wpaper:wp08-21

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cécile Aubert, 2008. "Managerial effort incentives and market collusion," Post-Print hal-00382224, HAL.
    2. Marvao, Catarina & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2016. "Cartels and Leniency: Taking stock of what we learnt," SITE Working Paper Series 39, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, revised 16 Nov 2016.

    More about this item


    cartel organization; antitrust enforcement; leniency programs;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices

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