DP9290 Antitrust Fines in Times of Crisis

Author(s): Natalia Fabra, Massimo Motta
Publication Date: January 2013
Keyword(s): antitrust fines, business cycles, managing incentives
JEL(s): K14, K42, L13
Programme Areas: Industrial Organization
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=9290

In a model in which firms can go bankrupt because of adverse market shocks or antitrust fines, we find that even large corporate fines may not be able to induce deterrence. Managerial penalties are thus needed. If the policy may be changed according to the state of the business cycle, then the optimal outcome can always be achieved through antitrust fines that are more severe in good times and more lenient in bad times. A time-independent policy may result in either too many bankruptcies or under-deterrence as compared to the optimal policy.