Delays in Leniency Application: Is There Really a Race to the Enforcer's Door?
Dennis L. Gärtner
University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics
Zhejiang Wanli University; Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); Bruegel
November 1, 2012
This paper studies cartels' strategic behavior in delaying leniency applications, a take-up decision that has been ignored in the previous literature. Using European Commission decisions issued over a 16-year span, we show, contrary to common beliefs and the existing literature, that conspirators often apply for leniency long after a cartel collapses. We estimate hazard and probit models to study the determinants of leniency-application delays. Statistical tests find that delays are symmetrically affected by antitrust policies and macroeconomic fluctuations. Our results shed light on the design of enforcement programs against cartels and other forms of conspiracy.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29
Keywords: corporate leniency program, cartel, leniency application delays
JEL Classification: D43, K21, K42, L13
Date posted: December 12, 2012 ; Last revised: December 14, 2012