Delays in Leniency Application: Is There Really a Race to the Enforcer’s Door?

D.L. Gärtner, J. Zhou

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Abstract: This paper studies cartels’ strategic behavior in delaying leniency applications, a take-up decision that has been ignored in the previous literature. Using European Commission decisions issued over a 16-year span, we show, contrary to common beliefs and the existing literature, that conspirators often apply for leniency long after a cartel collapses. We estimate hazard and probit models to study the determinants of leniency-application delays. Statistical tests find that delays are symmetrically affected by antitrust policies and macroeconomic fluctuations. Our results shed light on the design of enforcement programs against cartels and other forms of conspiracy. Journal of Economic Literature
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameTILEC Discussion Paper


  • corporate leniency program
  • cartel
  • leniency application delays


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