The financial support of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is gratefully acknowledged. We thank the editor and referees, Morten Hviid, Franco Mariuzzo, Fred Wandschneider and other members of seminars at the Centre for Competition Policy for helpful comments.
Ringleaders in Larger Number Asymmetric Cartels
Article first published online: 14 NOV 2013
© 2013 The Author(s). The Economic Journal © 2013 Royal Economic Society
The Economic Journal
Volume 123, Issue 572, pages F524–F544, November 2013
How to Cite
Davies, S. and De, O. (2013), Ringleaders in Larger Number Asymmetric Cartels. The Economic Journal, 123: F524–F544. doi: 10.1111/ecoj.12062
- Issue published online: 26 NOV 2013
- Article first published online: 14 NOV 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 25 JUN 2013 11:50PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 2 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Received: 23 JUN 2012
The concept of a cartel ringleader has specific legal meaning but has received relatively little attention in the economic literature of cartels. This article draws on a sample of 89 European cartels to identify how often ringleaders exist, who they are and what they do. It argues that ringleaders are more likely where the traditional ‘cartel problems’ are likely to be most acute, i.e. with larger numbers of members exhibiting substantial size asymmetries. This is confirmed for price-fixing and bid-rigging cartels and is especially pronounced where the ringleader displays ‘aggressive’ as opposed to merely ‘organisational’ behaviour.