This article reports results from an experiment studying how FINES, LENIENCY, and REWARDS for whistleblowers affect cartel formation and prices. Antitrust without LENIENCY reduces cartel formation but increases cartel prices: subjects use costly FINES as punishments. LENIENCY improves antitrust by strengthening deterrence but stabilizes surviving cartels: subjects appear to anticipate the lower postconviction prices after reports/LENIENCY. With REWARDS, prices fall at the competitive level. Overall, our results suggest a strong cartel deterrence potential for well-run LENIENCY and REWARD schemes. These findings may also be relevant for similar white-collar organized crimes, such as corruption and fraud.
Bigoni, Maria, Sven-Olof Fridolfsson, Chloé Le Coq and Giancarlo Spagnolo (2012),
"Fines, Leniency, and Rewards in Antitrust".
RAND Journal of Economics