The dynamics of leniency application and the knock-on effect of cartel enforcement

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Series Details No.02, February 2016
Publication Date February 2016
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The authors study the timing of leniency applications using a novel application of multi-spell discrete-time survival analysis for a sample of cartels prosecuted by the European Commission between 1996 and 2014.

The start of a Commission investigation does not affect the rate by which conspirators apply for leniency in the market investigated, but increases the rate of application in separate markets in which a conspirator in the investigated market also engaged in collusion. The revision of the Commission’s leniency programme in 2002 increased the rate of pre-investigation applications. Our results shed light on enforcement efforts against cartels and other forms of conspiracy.

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