Price Dispersion and Class Certification in Antitrust Cases: An Economic Analysis

24 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2007

See all articles by James F. Nieberding

James F. Nieberding

North Coast Economics, LLC

Robin Cantor

Navigant Consulting


Differences in prices paid by putative class members ("price dispersion") often become a focal point for class certification in antitrust matters. This paper discusses how an economic analysis of the existence, extent, and nature of price dispersion faced by plaintiffs seeking class certification may be informative even in matters thought to be particularly appropriate for class treatment (e.g., horizontal price-fixing). The existence of price variability among the products at issue can be addressed within the class framework if such price differences are systematic and able to be controlled for in any "but-for" pricing analysis.

Keywords: class certification, price fixing, antitrust, price dispersion

JEL Classification: K21, L41,

Suggested Citation

Nieberding, James F. and Cantor, Robin, Price Dispersion and Class Certification in Antitrust Cases: An Economic Analysis. Journal of Legal Economics, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 61-84, 2007, Available at SSRN:

James F. Nieberding (Contact Author)

North Coast Economics, LLC ( email )

Cleveland, OH 44107
United States
216-272-8353 (Phone)


Robin Cantor

Navigant Consulting ( email )

30 S. Wacker,
Suite 3400
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

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