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he Impact of the Corporate Leniency Program on Cartel Formation and the Cartel Price Path

  • Joseph E. Harrington, Jr
  • Joe Chen

Previous research exploring the effect of corporate leniency programs has modelled the oligopoly stage game as a Prisoners?Dilemma. Using numerical analysis, we consider the Bertrand price game and allow the probability of detection and penalties to be sensitive to firms?prices. Consistent with earlier results, a maximal leniency program necessarily makes collusion more difficult. However, we also find that partial leniency programs - such as in the U.S. - can make collusion easier compared to offering no leniency. We also show that even if cartel formation is not deterred, a leniency program can reduce the prices charged by firms.

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Paper provided by The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number 528.

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Date of creation: Apr 2005
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Handle: RePEc:jhu:papers:528
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  1. Motta, M. & Polo, M., 1999. "Leniency Programs and Cartel Prosecution," Economics Working Papers eco99/23, European University Institute.
  2. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2004. "Cartel Pricing Dynamics in the Presence of an Antitrust Authority," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(4), pages 651-673, Winter.
  3. Motchenkova, E., 2004. "Effects of Leniency Programs on Cartel Stability," Discussion Paper 2004-98, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  4. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr, 2005. "Optimal Corporate Leniency Programs," Economics Working Paper Archive 527, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  5. Harrington, Joseph Jr. & Chen, Joe, 2006. "Cartel pricing dynamics with cost variability and endogenous buyer detection," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1185-1212, November.
  6. Philippe Cyrenne, 1999. "On Antitrust Enforcement and the Deterrence of Collusive Behaviour," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 257-272, May.
  7. Green, Edward J & Porter, Robert H, 1984. "Noncooperative Collusion under Imperfect Price Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 87-100, January.
  8. 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.
  9. Harrington, Joseph Jr., 2003. "Some implications of antitrust laws for cartel pricing," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 377-383, June.
  10. Abrantes-Metz, Rosa M. & Froeb, Luke M. & Geweke, John & Taylor, Christopher T., 2006. "A variance screen for collusion," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 467-486, May.
  11. Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2004. "Divide et Impera. Optimnal Deterrence Mechanisms Against Cartels and Organized Crime," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 485, Econometric Society.
  12. Joseph E Harrington, 2001. "Optimal Cartel Pricing in the Presence of an Antitrust Authority," Economics Working Paper Archive 460, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Jul 2002.
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