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Evaluating Antitrust Leniency Programs

XREAP No. 2012-01

49 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2012 Last revised: 22 Nov 2012

Joan-Ramon Borrell

University of Barcelona

Juan Luis Jimenez

University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Carmen Garcia

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: October 30, 2012


This paper identifies and then quantifies econometrically the impact of leniency programs on the perception of the effectiveness of antitrust policies in the business community using panel data for as much as 59 countries and 14-year span. We use the dynamics of the gradual diffusion of leniency programs across countries and over time to evaluate the impact of the program, taking care of the bias caused by self-selection into the program. We find that leniency programs increase the perception of effectiveness by an order of magnitude ranging from 10% to 21%. Leniency programs have become weapons of mass dissuasion in the hands of antitrust enforcers against the more damaging forms of explicit collusion among rival firms in the market place.

Keywords: Antitrust, Leniency Programs, Policy effectiveness, Program Evaluation, Political economy

JEL Classification: D7, K2, L4, O4

Suggested Citation

Borrell, Joan-Ramon and Jimenez, Juan Luis and Garcia, Carmen, Evaluating Antitrust Leniency Programs (October 30, 2012). XREAP No. 2012-01. Available at SSRN: or

Joan-Ramon Borrell Arqué (Contact Author)

University of Barcelona ( email )

Av. Diagonal, 690
Barcelona, 08034

Juan Luis Jimenez

University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria ( email )

C/Juan de Quesada, No. 30
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas 35017

Carmen Garcia

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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