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Beyond the Cartel Law Handbook: How Corruption, Social Norms and Collectivist Business Cultures can Undermine Conventional Enforcement Tools


  • Andreas Stephan

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


The combination of leniency programmes, high sanctions, complaints from customers and private actions for damages, has proven very successful at uncovering and punishing cartel agreements in the US. Countless jurisdictions are being encouraged to adopt these ‘conventional’ enforcement tools, in the absence of an international competition authority. The purpose of this paper is to widen the debate on cartel enforcement by identifying three issues which can undermine their effectiveness in some jurisdictions: (1) Corruption and organised crime; (2) Social norms that are sympathetic to collusive practices; (3) Collectivist business cultures built on personal relationships.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Stephan, 2008. "Beyond the Cartel Law Handbook: How Corruption, Social Norms and Collectivist Business Cultures can Undermine Conventional Enforcement Tools," Working Papers 08-29, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia.
  • Handle: RePEc:ccp:wpaper:wp08-29

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kwiatkowski, Denis & Phillips, Peter C. B. & Schmidt, Peter & Shin, Yongcheol, 1992. "Testing the null hypothesis of stationarity against the alternative of a unit root : How sure are we that economic time series have a unit root?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1-3), pages 159-178.
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    3. Asche, Frank & Steen, Frode, 2006. "When Anti-Dumping Measures Lead to Increased Market Power: A Case Study of the European Salmon Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 5781, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Johansen, Soren, 1991. "Estimation and Hypothesis Testing of Cointegration Vectors in Gaussian Vector Autoregressive Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1551-1580, November.
    5. Gonzalo, Jesus, 1994. "Five alternative methods of estimating long-run equilibrium relationships," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 203-233.
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    More about this item


    cartels; leniency programmes; enforcement; corruption; organised crime; social norms; collectivism;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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