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Registered cartels in Austria: An overview

Listed author(s):
  • Fink, Nikolaus
  • Schmidt-Dengler, Philipp
  • Stahl, Konrad
  • Zulehner, Christine

Cartels were legal to a large extent in Austria until the country's EU Accession in 1995. We examine archival material on registered horizontal cartels to learn about their inner working. Applying content analysis to legally binding cartel contracts, we comprehensively document different collusion methods along the lines described by Stigler (1964). Quota cartels employ regular reporting schemes and use compensation mechanisms for departures from set quotas. Specialization cartels divide markets, and rely the least on information exchange and punishment. Price and payment condition cartels primarily aim to prevent secret price cuts, requiring information provision upon request, allow for discretionary decision-taking and (sometimes immediate) punishment. These stylized facts on the contractual arrangements suggest that the possibility to write legally binding agreements was employed to address the usual obstacles to sustaining collusion.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 14-058.

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Date of creation: 2015
Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:14058
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  1. Joseph E. Harrington & Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2011. "Private Monitoring and Communication in Cartels: Explaining Recent Collusive Practices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2425-2449, October.
  2. David Genesove & Wallace P. Mullin, 2001. "Rules, Communication, and Collusion: Narrative Evidence from the Sugar Institute Case," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 379-398, June.
  3. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr, 2006. "How Do Cartels Operate?," Economics Working Paper Archive 531, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  4. Lars-Hendrik Röller & Frode Steen, 2006. "On the Workings of a Cartel: Evidence from the Norwegian Cement Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 321-338, March.
  5. John Asker, 2010. "A Study of the Internal Organization of a Bidding Cartel," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 724-762, June.
  6. Margaret C. Levenstein & Valerie Y. Suslow, 2011. "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Determinants of Cartel Duration," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(2), pages 455-492.
  7. Chicu, Mark & Vickers, Chris & Ziebarth, Nicolas L., 2013. "Cementing the case for collusion under the National Recovery Administration," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 487-507.
  8. Joseph E. Harrington Jr. & Andrzej Skrzypacz, 2007. "Collusion under monitoring of sales," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(2), pages 314-331, 06.
  9. Vickers, Chris & Ziebarth, Nicolas L., 2014. "Did the National Industrial Recovery Act Foster Collusion? Evidence from the Macaroni Industry," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(03), pages 831-862, September.
  10. Cave, Jonathan & Salant, Stephen W, 1995. "Cartel Quotas under Majority Rule," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 82-102, March.
  11. 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.
  12. Peter Davis & Amelia Fletcher, 2013. "Contributions to Competition Economics: Introduction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(11), pages 493-504, November.
  13. Fink, Nikolaus & Schmidt-Dengler, Philipp & Stahl, Konrad O. & Zulehner, Christine, 2014. "Registered cartels in Austria: Coding protocol," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-057, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  14. Harrington, Joseph E., 2006. "How Do Cartels Operate?," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 2(1), pages 1-105, August.
  15. Jason E. Taylor, 2007. "Cartel Code Attributes and Cartel Performance: An Industry-Level Analysis of the National Industrial Recovery Act," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50, pages 597-624.
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