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Vol. 71, No. 1, pp. 35-48 (2020)

“Estimating Cartel Behavior: The Case of the Cement Cartel in Hokkaido”
Masato Nishiwaki (The Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)

This paper empirically studies the behavior of an illegal cartel. Based on the case of the Japanese cement industry cartel in the Hokkaido prefecture, the paper reached the following two conclusions. First, a widely used specification test does not support the fully collusive pricing behavior. Second, on examining, the behavior of the cartel, it was found that the cartel gradually increased prices and then gradually reduced prices after reaching the highest level of price. This pricing dynamic is consistent with illegal cartel theory prediction.