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

  • Joseph E. Harrington, Jr

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.

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Paper provided by The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number 532.

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Date of creation: Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:jhu:papers:532
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  1. Joseph E Harrington Jr, 2002. "Cartel Pricing Dynamics in the Presence of an Antitrust Authority," Economics Working Paper Archive 487, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised May 2003.
  2. 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.
  3. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr. & Joe Chen, 2005. "Cartel Pricing Dynamics with Cost Variability and Endogenous Buyer Detection," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-359, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  4. 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.
  5. 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, 02.
  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. Reinhard Selten, 1973. "A Simple Model of Imperfect Competition, where 4 are Few and 6 are Many," Working Papers 008, Bielefeld University, Center for Mathematical Economics.
  8. Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2006. "Leniency and Whistleblowers in Antitrust," CEPR Discussion Papers 5794, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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