Jerry S. Cohen Award for Antitrust Scholarship Selects Winning Articles Highlighting Effects of Global Leniency Programs

The winners of the 18th annual Jerry S. Cohen Award for Antitrust Scholarship were announced today. The Cohen Award was created through a trust established in memory of the late Jerry S. Cohen, an outstanding trial lawyer and antitrust writer. It is administered by the law firm he founded, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll.

Ailin Dong, Massimo Massa, and Alminas Žaldokas won for their article, “The Effects of Global Leniency Programs on Margins and Mergers,” 50 Rand J. of Econ. 883 (2019). The authors investigate how passage of national leniency programs has affected firms’ margins and merger activity. The authors find that such programs reduce the gross margins of the affected firms, suggesting the programs are effective at reducing cartel activity. However, the authors also find that firms react to such programs by engaging in more mergers, and that those mergers are predominantly anticompetitive as they tend to have negative effects on downstream firms. Their empirical results imply that although leniency programs are generally effective, their benefits are offset to some extent by mergers that substitute for cartels. The authors thus advocate for stronger merger review.

The Cohen Award is given each year to the best antitrust writing during the prior year that is consistent with the following standards established by the Board of Trustees of the Jerry S. Cohen Memorial Fund: “To be considered eligible and selected for the Award, submissions should reflect a concern for principles of economic justice; the dispersal of economic power; and the maintenance of effective limitations upon economic power or the federal statutes designed to protect society from various forms of anticompetitive activity. Submissions should reflect an awareness of the human and social impacts of economic institutions upon individuals, small businesses and other institutions necessary to the maintenance of a just and humane society—the values and concerns that Jerry S. Cohen dedicated his life and work to fostering. Submissions may address substantive, procedural or evidentiary matters that reflect these values and concerns.”

The award selection committee has also conferred six category awards, as follows:

The award committee consisted of Zachary Caplan, Associate at Berger & Montague, P.C.; Warren Grimes, Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School; John Kirkwood, Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law; Robert Lande, Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law; Christopher Leslie, Professor of Law at University of California, Irvine School of Law; Roger Noll, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Stanford University; and Daniel A. Small, Partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.