Cartel Overcharges: Survey and Meta-Analysis

47 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2005 Last revised: 9 Mar 2013

See all articles by John M. Connor

John M. Connor

American Antitrust Institute (AAI); Purdue University

Yuliya Bolotova

University of Idaho

Date Written: March 1, 2005


The article presents a unique regression analysis of social-science estimates of the size of cartel overcharges. More than 800 overcharge rates were collected from a variety of published sources that have appeared in the literature during the last 125 years. A meta-analysis of overcharges from 395 cartel episodes finds that duration, legal environment, and organizational characteristics of cartels explain the variation on overcharge rates to a greater extent than the type of publication or the method of overcharge analysis. In particular, overcharges are significantly higher for durable international cartels and are declining as antitrust enforcement regimes have stiffened. Historical case studies and government reports calculate lower overcharges, whereas antitrust authorities arrive at relatively high rates.

Keywords: antitrust, cartel, collusion, meta-analysis, overcharges

JEL Classification: L12, L14, L42

Suggested Citation

Connor, John M. and Connor, John M. and Bolotova, Yuliya, Cartel Overcharges: Survey and Meta-Analysis (March 1, 2005). International Journal of Industrial Organization, Vol. 24, 2006, Available at SSRN: or

John M. Connor (Contact Author)

American Antitrust Institute (AAI) ( email )

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Yuliya Bolotova

University of Idaho ( email )

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