Review of Industrial Organization

, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 543–574 | Cite as

A Structural Break Cartel Screen for Dating and Detecting Collusion

  • Carsten J. CredeEmail author


In this article, a new empirical screen for detecting cartels is developed. It can also be used to date the beginning of known conspiracies, which is often difficult in practice. Structural breaks that are induced by cartels in the data-generating process of industry prices are detected by testing reduced-form price equations for structural instability. The new screen is applied to three European markets for pasta products, in which it successfully reports the cartels that were present in the Italian and Spanish markets, but finds no suspicious patterns in the French market, which was not cartelised.


Antitrust Cartel Detection Empirical screen 

JEL Classification

D43 L41 



The views expressed in this article represent the personal opinion of the author, and do not represent positions of the Bundeskartellamt. I thank the editor Lawrence White, two anonymous referees, Rosa Abrantes-Metz, Giuliana Battisti, Farasat Bokhari, Steve Davies, Andreas Gerster, Nils Gutacker, Franco Mariuzzo, Peter Ormosi, George Papadopoulos, Daniel Rubinfeld, Maarten Pieter Schinkel, and Achim Zeileis, as well as participants at the Workshop of the Law and Economics of Antitrust 2016 in Zurich, RGS Doctoral Conference 2016, NIE-Doctoral Student Colloquium 2015, CCP-UEA 2014 and 2015, CLEEN 2014, and CLaSF 2014 for helpful comments. Any remaining errors are my own.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office)BonnGermany

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