The Influence of Collusion on Price Changes: New Evidence from Major Cartel Cases


Korbinian von Blanckenburg, University of Muenster, Institute of Public Economics, Wilmergasse 6-8, 48143 Münster, Germany. Tel.: +49 251 83 22871; fax: +49 251 83 22826; e-mail:


In this article, we compare the distribution of price changes between collusive and non-collusive periods for 11 major cartels. Based on the theoretical and empirical results from previous research, we discuss the four moments with respect to price changes (mean, variance, skewness and kurtosis). However, none of the above descriptive statistics can be considered as a robust test allowing a differentiation between competition and cartel. Therefore, we implement the Kolmogorov–Smirnov test. According to our results, 9 of 11 cartels were successful in controlling the market price for a number of years. The proposed methodology may be used for antitrust screening and regulatory purposes.