Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Monday, January 18, 2021

Cartel deterrence and manager labor market in US and EU antitrust jurisdictions: theory and experimental data

Cartel deterrence and manager labor market in US and EU antitrust jurisdictions: theory and experimental data

By:

Miguel A. Fonseca (Department of Economics, University of Exeter and NIPE, Universidade do Minho); Ricardo Gonçalves (Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Católica Porto Business School and CEGE); Joana Pinho (Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Católica Porto Business School and CEGE); Giovanni Tabacco

Abstract:

We explore the consequences to contract design if firm shareholders are intent on their managers engaging in price exing activities under different legal regimes. We show that in fine-only legal regimes, optimal contracts must have a fixed wage. In contrast,in fine-plus-prosecution legal regimes optimal contracts must be high-powered,involving a variable component. We test these predictions in a laboratory experiment. We observe contract choices of firm owners, for a given legal regime, as well as the likelihood of managers forming explicit cartels and coordinating on prices in an indefinitely repeated Bertrand oligopoly, taking contract and legal regime as given. The data show that prosecuting managers leads to lower collusion, but high-powered contracts do not incentivize cartel formation or price coordination effectively, irrespective of legal regime. Nevertheless, high-powered contracts were most frequently chosen by firm owners, often with collusive intents.

URL:

http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cap:wpaper:022020&r=com

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/antitrustprof_blog/2021/01/cartel-deterrence-and-manager-labor-market-in-us-and-eu-antitrust-jurisdictions-theory-and-experimen.html

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