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Modelling the Birth and Death of Cartels with an Application to Evaluating Antitrust Policy

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  • Joseph E. Harrington, Jr

Abstract

One of the primary challenges to measuring the impact of antitrust policy on collusion is that the cartel population is unobservable; we observe only the population of discovered cartels. To address this challenge, a model of cartel creation and dissolution is developed to endogenously derive the populations of cartels and discovered cartels. It is then shown how one can infer the impact of antitrust policy on the population of cartels by measuring its impact on the population of discovered cartels. In particular, the change in the distribution on the duration of discovered cartels could be informative in assessing whether a new antitrust policy is reducing the latent rate of cartels.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph E. Harrington, Jr, 2006. "Modelling the Birth and Death of Cartels with an Application to Evaluating Antitrust Policy," Economics Working Paper Archive 532, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:jhu:papers:532
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joseph E. Harrington, 2005. "Optimal Cartel Pricing In The Presence Of An Antitrust Authority," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(1), pages 145-169, February.
    2. Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2006. "Leniency and Whistleblowers in Antitrust," CEPR Discussion Papers 5794, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2004. "Cartel Pricing Dynamics in the Presence of an Antitrust Authority," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, pages 651-673.
    4. Harrington, Joseph Jr. & Chen, Joe, 2006. "Cartel pricing dynamics with cost variability and endogenous buyer detection," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, pages 1185-1212.
    5. Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1986. "A Supergame-Theoretic Model of Price Wars during Booms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 390-407, June.
    6. Reinhard Selten, 1973. "A Simple Model of Imperfect Competition, where 4 are Few and 6 are Many," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 008, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
    7. Philippe Cyrenne, 1999. "On Antitrust Enforcement and the Deterrence of Collusive Behaviour," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 14(3), pages 257-272, May.
    8. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr & Joe Chen, 2005. "he Impact of the Corporate Leniency Program on Cartel Formation and the Cartel Price Path," Economics Working Paper Archive 528, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2011. "Corporate Leniency with Private Information: The Push of Prosecution and the Pull of Pre-emption," Economics Working Paper Archive 573, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    2. Roberta Dessì & Salvatore Piccolo, 2008. "Two is Company, N is a Crowd? Merchant Guilds and Social Capital," CSEF Working Papers 202, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 12 Jul 2009.
    3. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2009. "When Does a Self-Serving Antitrust Authority Act in Society's Best Interests?," Economics Working Paper Archive 549, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    4. Hyytinen, Ari & Steen, Frode & Toivanen, Otto, 2010. "Cartels Uncovered," CEPR Discussion Papers 7761, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Myong-Hun Chang & Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2008. "The Impact of a Corporate Leniency Program on Antitrust Enforcement and Cartelization," Economics Working Paper Archive 548, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.

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