José Azar, Ioana Marinescu, Marshall Steinbaum, Bledi Taska, 07 June 2018

The effect of increasing product market concentration on the labour market is sometimes overlooked because the labour market is often assumed to be entirely competitive. This column discusses the definition of labour markets and analyses the circumstances in which employers have monopsonist power to set wages, thus contributing to the growing debate over whether market concentration might be one cause of stagnant wages and other labour trends. 

Farid Toubal, Bruce Blonigen, Lionel Fontagné, Nicholas Sly, 15 August 2014

The concerns of economic nationalists about cross-border takeovers are rooted in the idea that foreign enterprises extract the most valuable assets from top performing domestic firms. Practical concerns about economic efficiency of cross-border M&A markets hinge on whether takeovers transfer underperforming domestic economic resources toward more productive uses at foreign enterprises. How then to reconcile these concerns when forming policies about cross-border activity? It’s all in the timing.

Tomaso Duso, Klaus Gugler, Florian Szücs, 26 January 2014

In 2004, European merger law was substantially revised, with the aim of achieving a ‘more economic approach’ to merger policy. This column discusses a recent empirical assessment of European merger cases before and after the reform. Post-reform, the outcomes of merger cases became more predictable, and the Commission prohibited fewer pro-competitive mergers. While there remains room for improvement in several aspects, the reform seems to have been successful in bringing European competition law closer to economic principles.

Dennis Carlton, 26 March 2009

How effective is US merger policy? US policymakers lack any systematic quantitative study to answer the question. This column says that merger policy studies should measure the systematic bias in price predictions of the antitrust agency and see what methods work best. Such data-driven assessment would result in analysis replacing opinion as the basis for judging merger policy.

Jo Seldeslachts, Joseph Clougherty, Pedro Barros, 27 February 2008

Competition authorities know that their decisions in merger cases may deter future mergers, but there’s little evidence quantifying such deterrence. This column reports on recent research that examines the deterrence effects of merger policy and finds that competition authorities’ increasing reliance on remedying mergers rather than prohibiting them is potentially weakening deterrence.

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