Friday, 23 September 2011

Cartel theory

While as consumers we might feel the consequences of cartels in practice, theoretical studies in law & economics can teach us something about the dynamics behind these attempts of firms to restrict competition among them (e.g. through price fixing or market sharing). In about 1,5 hours from now Martijn Han (Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics, ACLE) will defend his PhD thesis on the topic of 'vertical relations in cartel theory'. How do managers and firm owners behave in cartels? In what way may the functioning of buyer groups (cooperations of retailers) be explained? And how are economic damages resulting from a cartel distributed? Martijn did the math and reached some interesting conclusions, which may be further explored on his website.

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