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An Experimental Study of Leniency Programs

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  • Yasuyo Hamaguchi
  • Toshiji Kawagoe

Abstract

Antitrust authorities of many countries have been trying to establish appropriate competition policies based on economic analysis. Recently an anti-cartel policy called a "leniency program" has been introduced in many countries as an effective policy to dissolve cartels. In this paper, we studied several kinds of leniency programs through laboratory experiments. We experimentally controlled for two factors: 1) cartel size: the number of cartel members in a group, small (two-person) or large (seven-person), 2) schedule of reduced fine: the number of firms that are given reduced fines. The experimental results showed that (1) an increase in the number of cartel members in a group increased the number of cartels dissolved, (2) changing the coverage of reduced fine had no significant effect both in two-player case and in seven-player case.

Suggested Citation

  • Yasuyo Hamaguchi & Toshiji Kawagoe, 2005. "An Experimental Study of Leniency Programs," Discussion papers 05003, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:05003
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    File URL: https://www.rieti.go.jp/jp/publications/dp/05e003.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jose Apesteguia & Martin Dufwenberg & Reinhard Selten, 2007. "Blowing the Whistle," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 31(1), pages 143-166, April.
    2. Motta, Massimo & Polo, Michele, 2003. "Leniency programs and cartel prosecution," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 347-379, March.
    3. Karine Brisset & Lionel Thomas, 2004. "Leniency Program: A New Tool in Competition Policy to Deter Cartel Activity in Procurement Auctions," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 5-19, January.
    4. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mechtenberg, Lydia & Muehlheusser, Gerd & Roider, Andreas, 2017. "Whistle-Blower Protection: Theory and Experimental Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 11898, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Ulrich Blum & Nicole Steinat & Michael Veltins, 2008. "On the rationale of leniency programs: a game-theoretical analysis," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 209-229, June.
    3. Buccirossi, Paolo & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2006. "Optimal Fines in the Era of Whistleblowers," CEPR Discussion Papers 5465, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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