Using accounting data in cartel damage calculations: blessing or menace?
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Standard methods for calculating cartel-damage rely on data of prices charged and quantity sold. Such data may not easily be available. In this paper, it is shown that accounting data can be used for computing a lower bound for cartel-damage. Previous literature indicates that economic profits can hardly be inferred from accounting data. Therefore, it is shown under which econometrically testable assumptions on accounting costs a meaningful lower bound for cartel-damage can consistently be estimated when using accounting data. However, the aggregation-level and the publication-frequency of accounting data pose a challenge to the estimation of cartel-damage. A further challenge is to appropriately reflect the strength respectively effectiveness of the collusive agreement in the specification of any such estimation.
KeywordsCartel damages Accounting data Collusion Cartel prosecution
JEL ClassifiacationD43 L12 L13 L41
I would like to thank Georg Götz, Peter Winker, an anonymous referee, and my colleagues for their comments. Moreover, I feel grateful for the valuable comments that were provided by the discussants and audiences at several workshops and conferences in Giessen and Mannheim.
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