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The Impact of a Corporate Leniency Program on Antitrust Enforcement and Cartelization

Author

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  • Myong-Hun Chang
  • Joseph E. Harrington, Jr.

Abstract

To explore the efficacy of a corporate leniency program, a Markov process is constructed which models the stochastic formation and demise of cartels. Cartels are born when given the opportunity and market conditions are right, while cartels die because of internal collapse or they are caught and convicted by the antitrust authority. The likelihood that a cartel, once identified, is convicted depends inversely on the caseload of the antitrust authority due to an implicit resource constraint. The authority also chooses an enforcement policy in terms of the fraction of non-leniency cases that it prosecutes. Using numerical analysis, the impact of a leniency program on the steady-state cartel rate is investigated. Holding the enforcement policy of the antitrust authority fixed, a leniency program lowers the frequency of cartels. However, the additional caseload provided by the leniency program induces the antitrust authority to prosecute a smaller fraction of cartel cases identified outside of the program. Because of this less aggressive enforcement policy, it is possible that the cartel rate is higher when there is a leniency program.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:jhu:papers:548
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr, 2005. "Optimal Corporate Leniency Programs," Economics Working Paper Archive 527, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    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. Hans W. Friederiszick & Frank P. Maier-Rigaud, 2008. "Triggering Inspections Ex Officio: Moving Beyond A Passive Eu Cartel Policy," Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 89-113.
    4. Joseph E. Harrington & Myong-Hun Chang, 2009. "Modeling the Birth and Death of Cartels with an Application to Evaluating Competition Policy," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(6), pages 1400-1435, December.
    5. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ari Hyytinen & Frode Steen & Otto Toivanen, 2018. "Cartels Uncovered," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 190-222, November.
    2. Georg Clemens & Holger A. Rau, 2019. "Do discriminatory leniency policies fight hard‐core cartels?," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 336-354, April.
    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. Jihyun Park & Juhyun Lee & Suneung Ahn, 2018. "Bayesian Approach for Estimating the Probability of Cartel Penalization under the Leniency Program," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(6), pages 1-15, June.
    5. Yannis Katsoulacos & Evgenia Motchenkova & David Ulph, 2015. "Measuring the Effectiveness of Anti-cartel Interventions: A Conceptual Framework," Discussion Paper Series, School of Economics and Finance 201602, School of Economics and Finance, University of St Andrews, revised 13 Jan 2016.
    6. Khemla Prishnee Armoogum & Stephen Davies & Franco Mariuzzo, 2017. "Cartel enforcement and deterrence over the life of a Competition Authority," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Competition Policy (CCP) 2017-04, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    7. Gärtner, Dennis L. & Zhou, Jun, 2012. "Delays in Leniency Application: Is There Really a Race to the Enforcer's Door?," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 395, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    8. Maria Bigoni & Sven-Olof Fridolfsson & Chloé Le Coq & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2015. "Trust, Leniency, and Deterrence," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(4), pages 663-689.
    9. Bigoni, Maria & Fridolfsson, Sven-Olof & Le Coq, Chloé & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2012. "Trust and Deterrence," CEPR Discussion Papers 9002, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Gärtner, D.L. & Zhou, J., 2012. "Delays in Leniency Application : Is There Really a Race to the Enforcer’s Door?," Discussion Paper 2012-044, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    11. Asker, John, 2010. "Leniency and post-cartel market conduct: Preliminary evidence from parcel tanker shipping," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 407-414, July.
    12. Joan-Ramon Borrell & Juan Luis Jiménez & Carmen García, 2014. "Evaluating Antitrust Leniency Programs," Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 107-136.
    13. Tebbe, Eva, 2018. "Once bitten, twice shy? Market size affects the effectiveness of a leniency program by (de-)activating hysteresis effects," VfS Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168304, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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