Economics of Collusion (3) Theoretical and empirical analysis of collusion among firms, case studies of cartel behavior, bidding behavior at auctions and procurements.
ECON 449W Economics of Collusion (3)
Collusion by firms -- the explicit suppression of interfirm rivalry -- is profitable. However, it is often difficult to accomplish meaningfully. This course provides frameworks to analyze interfirm interactions, both theoretically and empirically. In addition, several case studies of cartel behavior in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere are presented. Bidder behavior at auctions and procurements will also be examined to understand some of the underlying issues of collusion. Following an introductory section, the course examines first the law regarding collusion and then the history of collusion, focusing on notable cases in the U.S. and Europe. Economic models of collusion are then reviewed, along with the distinction between tacit and explicit collusion. The final substantive section of the course examines issues encountered in prosecuting collusion. The broad objective of the course is to use the tools of economics to analyze the interactions of firms in settings where collusion may occur. Educationally, then, the course seeks to expose students to the application of economic analysis in a context with major economic and legal implications. This is an advanced undergraduate course in the field of Industrial Organization (IO), and hence will add to our offerings in the IO field (our beginning IO course is ECON 342). Econometrics (ECON 490) is also a prerequisite because of the empirical analyses that will be an important component of the course. The course is one that may be used to satisfy requirements for the major and the minor in economics, as a 400-level course. It may also be used to complete a module (area of specialization) in the Economics of Business and Law. And it will serve as one of the Economics Department's writing-intensive 400-level seminars. Student performance will be evaluated via two midterm exams and a substantial term paper. The exams will each count for 15% of the overall course grade, and the term paper will count for the remaining 70% of the course grade.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.