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Optimal Cartel Pricing in the Presence of an Antitrust Authority

  • Joseph E Harrington

Price dynamics are characterized when a price-fixing cartel is concerned about creating suspicions of the presence of a cartel A dynamical extension of static models yields the counterfactual prediction that the cartel initially raises price and then gradually lowers it An alternative specification generates a more plausible result that the cartel gradually raises price For that specification the long-run cartel price is found to be decreasing in the damage multiple but is independent of the level of fixed fines A more stringent standard for calculating damages is shown to induce the cartel to price higher

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Paper provided by The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number 460.

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Date of creation: May 2001
Date of revision: Jul 2002
Handle: RePEc:jhu:papers:460
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  1. Baker, Jonathan B, 1988. "Private Information and the Deterrent Effect of Antitrust Damage Remedies," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 385-408, Fall.
  2. Massimo Motta & Michele Polo, . "Leniency Programs and Cartel Prosecution," Working Papers 150, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. John M. Connor, 1998. "What Can We Learn From The Adm Global Price Conspiracies?," Working Papers 98-14, Purdue University, College of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  4. Athey, Susan & Bagwell, Kyle, 2001. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 428-65, Autumn.
  5. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell & Chris Sanchirico, 2004. "Collusion and Price Rigidity," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 317-349, 04.
  6. de Roos, Nicolas, 2006. "Examining models of collusion: The market for lysine," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1083-1107, November.
  7. Edward J Green & Robert H Porter, 1997. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1147, David K. Levine.
  8. Saïd Souam, 1997. "Optimal Antitrust Policy Under Different Regimes of Fines," Working Papers 97-37, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  9. Salant, Stephen W, 1987. "Treble Damage Awards in Private Lawsuits for Price Fixing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(6), pages 1326-36, December.
  10. Besanko, David & Spulber, Daniel F, 1990. "Are Treble Damages Neutral? Sequential Equilibrium and Private Antitrust Enforcement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 870-87, September.
  11. Lawrence J. White, 1999. "Lysine and Price Fixing: How Long? How Severe?," Working Papers 99-02, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  12. Chantale LaCasse, 1995. "Bid Rigging and the Threat of Government Prosecution," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(3), pages 398-417, Autumn.
  13. Philippe Cyrenne, 1999. "On Antitrust Enforcement and the Deterrence of Collusive Behaviour," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 257-272, May.
  14. Bryant, Peter G & Eckard, E Woodrow, Jr, 1991. "Price Fixing: The Probability of Getting Caught," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 531-36, August.
  15. McCutcheon, Barbara, 1997. "Do Meetings in Smoke-Filled Rooms Facilitate Collusion?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 330-50, April.
  16. Christie, William G & Schultz, Paul H, 1994. " Why Do NASDAQ Market Makers Avoid Odd-Eighth Quotes?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(5), pages 1813-40, December.
  17. Michele Polo, . "The Optimal Prudential Deterrence of Price Fixing Agreements," Working Papers 120, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  18. Bosch, Jean-Claude & Eckard, E Woodrow, Jr, 1991. "The Profitability of Price Fixing: Evidence from Stock Market Reaction to Federal Indictments," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(2), pages 309-17, May.
  19. Block, Michael Kent & Nold, Frederick Carl, 1981. "The Deterrent Effect of Antitrust Enforcement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(3), pages 429-45, June.
  20. Hay, George A & Kelley, Daniel, 1974. "An Empirical Survey of Price Fixing Conspiracies," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 13-38, April.
  21. Besanko, David & Spulber, Daniel F, 1989. "Antitrust Enforcement under Asymmetric Information," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(396), pages 408-25, June.
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