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The effects of endogenous enforcement on strategic uncertainty and cartel deterrence

Author

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  • Carsten J. Crede

    (University of East Anglia)

  • Liang Lu

    (University of East Anglia)

Abstract

This study experimentally investigates the impact of antitrust enforcement on cartel price decisions when fines and detection probabilities depend on them. We impose expected punishments that create two payoff–equivalent collusive price equilibria, of which one features a lower riskiness of collusion. Subjects are found to behave strategically in that they choose the equilibrium with a lower riskiness of collusion. This suggests that competition authorities can exploit the effects of such endogenous enforcement on strategic uncertainty between cartelists, i.e. a priori uncertainty about the actions of the other cartel members, to lower cartel prices. However, frequency deterrence might be reduced such that the overall welfare effects may be ambiguous.

Suggested Citation

  • Carsten J. Crede & Liang Lu, 2016. "The effects of endogenous enforcement on strategic uncertainty and cartel deterrence," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 16-08, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  • Handle: RePEc:uea:wcbess:16-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    antitrust; cartels; experiment; deterrence;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices

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