Advanced Short Course 1

Advanced Short Course on Cartel Screening Techniques and Methods

(3.5 a.h.¹)

Outline of Course Contents

Cartel Screening is the analysis of market data for the purpose of detecting possible episodes of collusion. Screening can work because collusion involves a change in the price-generating process that, in principle, can be detected. Furthermore, collusion imposes a unique set of challenges for firms, and how they solve those challenges leaves an evidentiary trail in patterns of prices and quantities.

This course will cover the three main categories of screening methods: structural breaks (identifying a change in the data-generating process due to cartel birth, death, or disruption), collusive markers (identifying patterns more consistent with collusion than competition), and anomalies (identifying patterns inconsistent with competition). Many cases are covered to exemplify these methods. In addition to reviewing “how to screen,” there will be coverage of “where to screen” in terms of the markets for which screening is most productive. Special attention is given to screening government procurement auctions given that the data is often available, bidding rings are common, and the methods are most developed.

Main references

¹ a.h. = academic hour (50 minutes)