Markets and Competition

Overview: The Department
Firms and Markets

Research Area

Markets and Competition

Research profile

The main focus of the “Markets and Competition” research area is on the theory-based microeconometric analysis of firm and consumer behavior as well as the determinants and outcomes of economic policies that affect product markets.

From the firm perspective, we focus on the study of strategic behavior in oligopolistic markets with a particular emphasis on the creation and abuse of market power. In particular, we study the determinants and effects of firms’ cooperation decisions such as mergers and acquisitions, research consortia, and cartels, which might represent the outcome or at least support anticompetitive conduct. For a precise analysis of the sources of market power it is often necessary to understand consumers’ preferences and behavior. Hence, a significant amount of our research is devoted to modeling and estimating the demand side of the analyzed markets.

From the policy perspective, we study the determinants and outcomes of product market regulations and competition policies. We explicitly consider the legal and institutional background as well as the political-economic processes that govern policy decisions. The main research projects focus on the evaluation of merger and cartel policies as well as the effectiveness of specific regulations in product markets, such as the pharmaceutical industry and network industries (energy, water, and telecommunications).

A variety of methodological approaches are applied, combining different microeconometric instruments such as structural econometric models and simulations, policy evaluation and panel methods, as well as the semi- and non-parametric efficiency analysis techniques. Microeconomic models of strategic interactions among firms in oligopolistic markets are the fundamental cornerstone of our empirical analyses in this research area.

Representative Projects

Study on the economic impact of enforcement of competition policies on the functioning of energy markets
Report commissioned by DG Competition of the European Commission, 2014-2015.

Ex Post Evaluation of Merger Cases
Report commissioned by the UK Competition Commission, 2010.
The full report is available here: The Ex-Post Evaluation of Two Merger Decisions | PDF

Development and Application of a Methodology for Evaluating the Effectiveness of Competition Policy
Report commissioned by DG Economic and Financial Affairs of the European Commission, 2008.

Representative Publications

Competition Policy and Productivity Growth: An Empirical Assessment
Paolo Buccirossi, Lorenzo Ciari, Tomaso Duso, Giancarlo Spagnolo, Cristiana Vitale
In: The Review of Economics and Statistics . 95 (2013), 4, 1324-1336.

An Empirical Assessment of the 2004 EU Merger Policy Reform
Tomaso Duso, Klaus Gugler, Florian Szücs
In: The Economic Journal: The journal of the Royal Economic Society (2013), 123, 572, F596-F619.

Collusion through Joint R&D: An Empirical Assessment
Tomaso Duso, Lars-Hendrik Röller, Jo Seldeslachts
In: The Review of Economics and Statistics (2013), forthcoming.