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Statistics On Modern Private International Cartels, 1990-2005

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  • John Connor

    ()

  • C. Gustav Helmers

    () (Department of Agricultural Economics, College of Agriculture, Purdue University)

Abstract

This report explains the principal economic and legal features of a unique set of data on 283 modern private international cartels discovered anywhere in the world from January 1990 to the end of 2005. Measured in real 2005 money, aggregate cartel sales and overcharges totaled about $1.2 trillion and $500 billion, respectively. In the early 2000s, about 35 such cartels were discovered each year. We find that global cartels comprise more than half of the sample’s affected sales and are larger, longer lasting, and more injurious than other types. In the early 2000s world-wide corporate penalties stabilized at or above $2 billion per year, one-thousand times penalties in the early 1990s. More than 40% of those penalties were from settlements in private suits, and most of the rest are fines imposed by U.S. and EU antitrust authorities. Median penalties are low: from 1.4% to 4.9% of affected sales, depending on the type of prosecution. As a proportion of damages, median fines ranged from less than 1% for EU-wide cartels to 17.6% for Canada. Private plaintiffs obtained 38% of damages from international cartelists. World wide, median real cartel penalties of all types amounted to less than 5% of overcharges. [See Summary next page for more details]

Suggested Citation

  • John Connor & C. Gustav Helmers, 2006. "Statistics On Modern Private International Cartels, 1990-2005," Working Papers 06-11, Purdue University, College of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pae:wpaper:06-11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John Connor, 2006. "Effectiveness of Antitrust Sanctions on Modern International Cartels," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 195-223, December.
    2. Margaret Levenstein & Valerie Suslow & Lynda Oswald, 2003. "International Price-Fixing Cartels and Developing Countries: A Discussion of Effects and Policy Remedies," NBER Working Papers 9511, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Margaret C. Levenstein & Valerie Y. Suslow, 2002. "What Determines Cartel Success?," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2002-01, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    4. John M. Connor, 2003. "Private International Cartels: Effectiveness, Welfare, and Anticartel Enforcement," Working Papers 03-12, Purdue University, College of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    5. Connor, John M., 2005. "Price-Fixing Overcharges: Legal And Economic Evidence," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19254, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
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    Cited by:

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    2. van Bergeijk, P.A.G., 2009. "What could anti-trust in the OECD do for development?," ISS Working Papers - General Series 18720, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    3. Kai Hüschelrath & Nina Leheyda & Patrick Beschorner, 2010. "Assessing The Effects Of A Road-Surfacing Cartel In Switzerland," Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 335-374.
    4. Bejger, Sylwester, 2012. "Cartel in the Indian cement industry: An attempt to identify it," Economics Discussion Papers 2012-18, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    5. Sylwester Bejger, 2011. "Polish cement industry cartel - preliminary examination of collusion existence," Business and Economic Horizons (BEH), Prague Development Center, vol. 4(1), pages 88-107, January.
    6. Tanja Artiga González & Markus Schmid & David Yermack, 2019. "Does Price Fixing Benefit Corporate Managers?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(10), pages 4813-4840, October.
    7. Bejger, Sylwester, 2011. "Polish cement industry cartel- preliminary examination of collusion existence," Business and Economic Horizons (BEH), Prague Development Center (PRADEC), vol. 4(1), pages 1-20, January.
    8. Aitor Ciarreta, 2012. "Cartels and regulation: effects on prices and real sales in sweden (1976–1990)," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 127-146, August.
    9. Hüschelrath, Kai, 2008. "Is it Worth all the Trouble? The Costs and Benefits of Antitrust Enforcement," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-107, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    10. Hoekman, Bernard & Martin, Will, 2012. "Reducing distortions in international commodity markets : an agenda for multilateral cooperation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5928, The World Bank.
    11. Shastitko, Andrey E. & Golovanova, Svetlana & Kryuchkova, Polina & Kurdin, Alexander & Novikov, Vadim & Pavlova, Natalia, 2013. "Effects of Weak Competition: Quantitative Assessment and Policy Implications," Published Papers dok31, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
    12. Tanja Artiga González & Markus Schmid & David Yermack, 2013. "Smokescreen: How Managers Behave When They Have Something To Hide," NBER Working Papers 18886, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cartel; price fixing; overcharge; antitrust enforcement; optimal deterrence;

    JEL classification:

    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts
    • K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law
    • B14 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Socialist; Marxist
    • F29 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Other

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