Ringleaders in larger number, asymmetric cartels

Stephen Davies, Oindrilla De

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The concept of a cartel ringleader has specific legal meaning but has received relatively little attention in the economic literature of cartels. This article draws on a sample of 89 European cartels to identify how often ringleaders exist, who they are and what they do. It argues that ringleaders are more likely where the traditional ‘cartel problems’ are likely to be most acute, i.e. with larger numbers of members exhibiting substantial size asymmetries. This is confirmed for price-fixing and bid-rigging cartels and is especially pronounced where the ringleader displays ‘aggressive’ as opposed to merely ‘organisational’ behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F524-F544
Number of pages21
JournalThe Economic Journal
Issue number572
Early online date14 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

Cite this