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Conspiracy at the Pump

Posted: 15 Jan 2009  

Can Erutku

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Vincent A. Hildebrand

York University - Department of Economics; CEPS/INSTEAD


Based on evidence of price-fixing, the Competition Bureau targeted in May of 2006 retail gasoline outlets in some local markets in the province of Quebec. In June 2008, criminal charges were laid against many individuals and companies operating in those local markets. We employ a differences-in-differences approach to determine whether the public announcement of the antitrust investigation triggered a reaction in one of the targeted market. We find that the price in the targeted market fell by 1.75 cents per liter after the public announcement of the investigation. We also briefly discuss how well the Stiglerian theory of collusion performs in this real-world conspiracy.

Keywords: Gasoline, Price-Fixing, Differences-in-Differencesma separated

JEL Classification: L11, L41, Q40

Suggested Citation

Erutku, Can and Hildebrand, Vincent A., Conspiracy at the Pump. Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 53, 2010. Available at SSRN:

Can Erutku (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Vincent Alexandre Hildebrand

York University - Department of Economics ( email )

363 York Hall
Glendon College
Toronto, Ontario, M4N 3M6
416-736-2100 x 88591 (Phone)
416-487-6852 (Fax)

CEPS/INSTEAD ( email )

Differdange, L-4620

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