Business Economics and Public Policy Papers

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Journal Article

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Publication Source

Journal of the European Economic Association





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One of the primary challenges to measuring the impact of antitrust or competition policy on collusion is that the cartel population is unobservable; we observe only the population of discovered cartels. To address this challenge, a model of cartel creation and dissolution is developed to endogenously derive the populations of cartels and discovered cartels. With this theory, one can infer the impact of competition policy on the population of cartels by measuring its impact on the population of discovered cartels. In particular, changes in the duration of discovered cartels can be informative in assessing whether a new policy is reducing the latent rate of cartels.

Copyright/Permission Statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., Myong-Hun Chang; Modeling the Birth and Death of Cartels with an Application to Evaluating Competition Policy, Journal of the European Economic Association, Volume 7, Issue 6, 1 December 2009, Pages 1400–1435, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving


At the time of publication, author Joseph E. Harrington, Jr. was affiliated with the John Hopkins University. Currently, he is a faculty member in the Business, Economy and Public Policy Department of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.



Date Posted: 27 November 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.