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The Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics (ACLE) at the University of Amsterdam organizes its 5th annual Competition & Regulation Meeting. The topic of this year's conference is: "To Enforce and Comply: Incentives inside Corporations and Agencies"

Event details of To Enforce and Comply: Incentives inside Corporations and Agencies, March 5-6, 2009
Start date 5 March 2009
End date 6 March 2009
Time 07:30

The Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics (ACLE) at the University of Amsterdam organizes its 5th annual Competition & Regulation Meeting. The topic of this year's conference is:

To Enforce and Comply: Incentives inside Corporations and Agencies

March 5-6, 2009
University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Keynote Speakers

Joseph E. Harrington, Jr. (Johns Hopkins University)
William E. Kovacic (Federal Trade Commission)
Giancarlo Spagnolo (University of Rome "Tor Vergata")
Xavier Vives (IESE Business School)
Jonathan M. Karpoff (University of Washington)
Douglas Cumming (York University)
William Blumenthal (Clifford Chance)

Plenary contributions by: Bill Bishop (CRA International), Andrea Appella (OFT), Robert Porter (Northwestern University), Barry Rodger (University of Strathclyde), Christof Swaak (Stibbe), Martijn Snoep (De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek).

Over 30 submitted paper presentations in parallel sessions on incentives in antitrust, regulation and financial markets oversight.

This ACLE conference addresses how private incentive schemes of regulators, enforcers and managers of firms determine the outcome of law enforcement. Central are the underlying motivation for law makers to design rules and institutions, for civil servants to enforce the law, and the incentives for company managers and investors to comply with such rules. This perspective can provide valuable insights for the design of effective enforcement methods, optimal compliance programs and institutional structures. Understanding incentives informs the right allocation of resources within the agencies and corporations.

Introduction to the Topic

The prime responsibility of regulators is to ensure that firms and investors act in conformity with the legal norms. However, both agencies and corporations are managed by people who have personal preferences, hidden agendas and private information. Regulatory approaches and enforcement methods should take such individual incentives into account, as they may importantly influence the actual outcome of enforcement and compliance programs.

Incentives within the agency. Civil servants are tasked to serve the public good and prioritize the discovery and successful prosecution of violations of law. Critics argue, however, that their actions may instead be driven primarily by political motivations or private career concerns. Poor institutional design can create conflicts. Where success is defined by the annual number of successful prosecutions, full deterrence may not be the goal. Neither does it necessarily install an incentive to prioritize harmful and complex cases over minor and simple violations. These concerns illustrate the importance of understanding private incentives within regulatory agencies, so as to ensure that incentive schemes are well-balanced and effective to ensure optimal enforcement.

Incentives within the corporation. A manager's incentive scheme likewise affects decisions whether or not to fully abide by the laws. Where an easy but illegal cartel profit significantly increases a bonus or career prospect, it may be tempting to talk to the competition. A certain type of owner or investor may want to exploit this mechanism in order to exert collusion and fraud. Others may want to avoid such liabilities and design effective corporate compliance programs that are incentive compatible. The effectiveness of audit procedures, disclosure and due diligence inspections importantly rely on the right incentives being put. In relation to this, public sanctions need to affect the correct level of management. Corporate fines or damages alone may not be fully appropriate.

In the 5th ACLE Competition & Regulation Meeting we will address these issues. One focus will be on compliance programs, in light of managerial incentive schemes and the various institutional and regulatory liabilities. Another focus will be on the optimal allocation of enforcement powers and resources, taking into account private incentives of civil servants. The topic can be approached from many different angles, both economic and legal. For that reason, we want to cast a wide net with this call for papers, in the hope to catch all relevant research (in progress).

Special Series of Parellel Sessions on Incentives in Financial Markets Oversight

The incidence of cross-border offerings and sale of securities has made it increasingly evident that enhanced cooperation among securities regulators is needed to ensure fair and transparent markets and efficient enforcement. There are however significant differences in regulatory intensity across jurisdictions and financial markets. In particular, there are diverse incentive compatibility mechanisms used by regulators to achieve their enforcement targets. In some jurisdictions there is a high level of public and private enforcement activity for financial misconduct that has an important effect on disciplining and deterring misconduct. In contrast, there a number of jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom and Japan, that apply light touch regulations and soft mechanisms of enforcement. This series of designated plenary and parallel sessions will examine differences in financial, regulatory and enforcement processes from an incentive standpoint.

Call for Papers - CLOSED

Academics, private practitioners and officials working with competition and financial and securities authorities and regulators are encouraged to submit their research for inclusion in the conference program. We welcome all original research (in progress) related to the topic from an economic, finance or legal point of view.

Submissions for inclusion in the program (full papers or abstracts) may be sent together with the author's address information to:

The deadline for submission is Wednesday 24 December 2008. Decisions on acceptance to the program will be communicated in January 2009.

Conference Program

The two-day conference program starts Thursday morning March 5, 2009 at 9:00 am in the "Industrieele Groote Club" at the Dam Square in Amsterdam. The Friday program takes place in the University of Amsterdam's Faculty of Law (Oudemanhuispoort 4-6) and ends on Friday afternoon with drinks and a dinner buffet in restaurant 'In de Waag' at the Nieuwmarkt.

For the complete program of presentations click on the link below.


The list of participants can be downloaded through the link below.


Conference Papers and presentations

Papers (or abstracts) and presentations available for downloading can be found at the link below.

Documentary Film Viewing - "The Dutch Construction Cartel"

The conference program includes a Thursday evening movie in the Tuschinski theatre, where there is a viewing of the documentary The Dutch Construction Cartel, produced by the current affairs program Zembla. Their first 2001 report exposed widespread collusion in the Dutch construction sector. It instigated a Parliamentary Inquiry in 2002-2003. Many companies admitted involvement, but argued their "monopoly money" system was accepted business practice. Several leading politicians and high officials were implicated. Antitrust damages were thought to amount to billions of euros. Over 1400 companies were eventually sanctioned by the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa), but also many of them received substantial leniency discounts. Key players in business, public administration and politics were promoted. In contrast, the main whistleblower, Ad Bos, was prosecuted by the state and today lives in a camper van. After the viewing, there will be room for discussion in the presence of director Jos van Dongen.

Closing Drinks and Buffet

The conference program will be closed on Friday evening with drinks and a dinner buffet in restaurant 'In de Waag', Nieuwmarkt 4 in Amsterdam.

Registration - NOW OPEN

The fee for this conference is €275 for practitioners and €125 for (full-time) academics.

To register for the conference, click on the link below. Payment details will be provided with the confirmation of your on-line registration. Please note that we have only a limited number of places available, so early registration is advised.

We can offer a limited number of fee waivers to selected young scholars (PhD candidates and post-docs). To qualify, please send your application by separate e-mail to

The registration fee includes conference participation, luncheons, refreshments, closing drinks and buffet.

From/to Conference Venue

From Schiphol Airport you can take the train to the city centre of Amsterdam (Amsterdam Centraal Station). For most of the day, trains run from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Central Station every 10 minutes.

To the "Industrieele Groote Club" from Amsterdam's Central Station:

Dam 27
1012 JS Amsterdam

By foot: Cross the square outside the station, pass the traffic lights straight ahead twice. At the Damrak you'll see department store Bijenkorf on your left hand sight. Cross the Dam square straight. On the corner with Rokin is the building Industria where the IGC is.

Per tram: Trams 4, 9,16,20,24 of 25 stop in front of department store Bijenkorf. Cross the Dam square straight. On the corner with Rokin is the building Industria where the IGC is.

To the Faculty of Law from Amsterdam's Central Station:

Oudemanhuispoort 4-6
1012 CN Amsterdam

You can use tramlines 4, 9, 16, 24, or 25. Get out at the second stop (Spui). The street you are on now is the Rokin. Take a left and cross the bridge to enter the alley Langebrugsteeg. Follow it through to Grimburgwal. At the end of Grimburgwal, take a left onto the canal named Oudezijds Achterburgwal. Immediately on your right hand side is the gate to the Oudemanhuispoort. Go through the gate and go halfway down the passage. On your left hand side, you will find the courtyard with the main entrance to the Faculty of Law.

By taxi from Schiphol Airport, the trip to the conference locations will cost you approximately €50 and will take about half an hour.

Hotel Accomodation

Participants are to arrange their own lodging. The following is a selection of hotels in de vicinity of the conference venues.

  • The Grand *****Deluxe
    Oudezijds Voorburgwal 197
    Phone: +31 (0)20 555 3555
    Prices from € 275
  • NH Doelen ****
    Nieuwe Doelenstraat 24
    Phone: +31 (0)20-5540662
    Prices from € 140
  • Le Coin ***
    Nieuwe Doelenstraat 5
    Phone: +31 (0)20 524 6800
    Prices from € 90 (mention ACLE Conference)
  • Arena Hotel ***
    's Gravesandestraat 51
    Phone: +31 (0)20 8502400
    Prices from € 100
  • Hostel Stay OK Amsterdam Vondelpark
    Zandpad 5
    Phone: + 31 (0)20 5898996
    Prices from € 73,50

The City of Amsterdam

For information on Amsterdam and surrounding events programmed in the city mid March, see the link below.

Pictures of the event

Behind the link below, you find some pictures of speakers and participants taken during the workshop.

Organizing Committee

The organizing committee consists of Kati Cseres, Marie Goppelsroeder, Martijn Han, José Kiss (office), Joe McCahery, Maarten Pieter Schinkel (chair) and Jeroen van de Ven.

For further inquiries contact the ACLE Office at +31 (0)20 525 4162 or the e-mail address below.

For further information about the ACLE, see

Past ACLE C&R Meetings

The ACLE Competition & Regulation meetings are a series of annual workshops that focus on topics in competition law enforcement and regulation. Around a program of key-note speakers, (young) scholars discuss submitted academic papers in parallel sessions. The leading idea is to inform European competition policy. The aim is to attract roughly 150 specialized participants from academia, government antitrust agencies, law and consulting firms to create the optimal conditions for a high level exchange of views.

The first C&R Meeting, in February 2005, titled Remedies and Sanctions in Competition Policy: Economic and Legal Implications of the Tendency to Criminalize Antitrust Enforcement in the EU Member States, was on the trend to criminalize antitrust law in Europe. Key-note speakers included Claus-Dieter Ehlermann, William Kovacic, Eleanor Fox, Giancarlo Spagnolo, Wouter Wils and Bruce Lyons. There were in total eight parallel session meetings. A book with the best efforts of this opening event of the ACLE was recently published by Edward Elgar.

The second C&R Meeting, in March 2006 was on Forensic Economics in Competition Law Enforcement. Key-note speakers included Franklin Fisher, Andrew I. Gavil and John Connor. In total eight parallel sessions showed a wide variety of scholarly contributions by scholars from a wide array of backgrounds. A special issue of the Journal of Competition Law and Economics on the topic is forthcoming.

The third C&R Meeting, in March 2007, concerned Strategic Firm-Authority Interaction in Antitrust, Merger Control and Regulation. Key-note addresses by R. Preston McAfee and Stephen Calkins introduced discussion on a variety of economic and legal aspects of the game between regulatory agencies and the firms they control in ten parallel sessions.

The fourth C&R Meeting, in April 2008, concerned the topic EC Competition Enforcement Data. In this special edition, a small group of specialists in competition law enforcement and econometrics, including Bruce Lyons, Stephen Davies, Tomaso Duso, Jo Seldeslachts, Klaus Gugler and Martin Carree met to discuss quality of data, sample selection bias issues, and possible hypotheses to bring to the data.