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The effects of private damage claims on cartel activity: Experimental evidence

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  • Bodnar, Olivia
  • Fremerey, Melinda
  • Normann, Hans-Theo
  • Schad, Jannika Leonie

Abstract

Private damage claims against cartels may have negative effects on leniency: whereas whistleblowers obtain full immunity regarding the public cartel fines, they have no or only restricted protection against private third-party damage claims. This may stabilize cartels. We run an experiment to study this issue. Firms choose whether to join a cartel, may apply for leniency afterwards, and then potentially face private damages. We find that the implementation of private damage claims reduces cartel formation but makes cartels indeed more stable. The negative effect of damages is avoided in a novel setting where the whistleblower is also protected from damages.

Suggested Citation

  • Bodnar, Olivia & Fremerey, Melinda & Normann, Hans-Theo & Schad, Jannika Leonie, 2021. "The effects of private damage claims on cartel activity: Experimental evidence," DICE Discussion Papers 315, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:315
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    Cited by:

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    2. Maximilian Andres & Lisa Bruttel & Jana Friedrichsen, 2019. "The Effect of a Leniency Rule on Cartel Formation and Stability: Experiments with Open Communication," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1835, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Andres, Maximilian & Bruttel, Lisa & Friedrichsen, Jana, 2021. "The leniency rule revisited: Experiments on cartel formation with open communication," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Private damage claims; cartel stability; laboratory experiment; leniency;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L44 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Antitrust Policy and Public Enterprise, Nonprofit Institutions, and Professional Organizations

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