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Criminalisation of Cartel Behaviour

David King ()
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David King: Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand

No 10/1, Occasional Papers from Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand

Abstract: This paper considers the case for criminalisation of hard-core cartel behaviour. Two frameworks are applied for considering the issue: retributive justice and deterrence (so as to minimise the social loss). The conclusion is reached that hard-core cartel behaviour has a serious moral dimension and that criminalisation of the offence is justifiable when a retributive approach is taken. It is also concluded that criminalisation is likely to be optimal from a deterrence perspective; this is due to the disutility created by stigma and loss of liberty and to the problems with alternatives such as corporate and individual fines, leniency programmes, and rewards to whistleblowers. Arguments against criminalisation relating to judicial processes and incentives on business are found to be unpersuasive. Achieving broad community support is critical, however. An addendum brings the paper up to date with developments in Australia.

Keywords: Criminalisation; cartel behaviour (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D21 D43 K21 L13 L41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 36 pages
Date: 2010-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-com and nep-ind
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