‘Revisiting the Regulatory State: A Multidisciplinary Review Establishing a New Research Agenda’

On Friday 21st November with the dynamic duo of David Deller (CCP) and Francesca Vantaggiato (CCP and PPL) presenting their research entitled ‘Revisiting the Regulatory State: A Multidisciplinary Review Establishing a New Research Agenda‘. David and Francesca first began researching the topic last year when working as Research Associates at the CCP. David joined the Centre in September 2013 having attained a PhD in Economics from the University of Essex. Francesca is a Political Scientist who also joined the CCP in 2013 and has since started her PhD at the School of Politics, Philosophy Language and Communication Studies.  An abstract for their paper can be found below.

Abstract

The paper provides a comprehensive literature review of the ‘Regulatory State’ through the lens of utility regulation. The review is multidisciplinary with it bringing together the insights available from the political science, economics, legal and management science literatures. It is clear that while the term ‘Regulatory State’ is essentially missing from the economics literature a vast array of economics papers provide valuable insights for debates about the Regulatory State within political science.

In addition to reviewing the existing literature, the paper identifies opportunities for future research. The literature is grouped into five topics: (i) Consumers, (ii) Courts, (iii) Ideas, Experts and Expertise, (iv) Governance and (v) Assessing Regulator Performance. Apart from (iv), we believe all of these areas have been under-researched in relative terms. In particular, a key finding is that compared to the information available on Public Utility Commissioners in US States, very little information has been collated on the background, characteristics and careers of individual utility regulators working within Europe.

The seminar takes place from 13:00-14:00 in the Thomas Paine Study Centre, Room 1.03.

‘Recent Trends in EC and UK Merger Control and Theories of Harm’

The CCP Seminar Series continues on Friday 14th November with the ever-captivating Bruce Lyons (CCP & ECO) presenting his research on ‘Recent Trends in EC and UK Merger Control and Theories of Harm‘. Bruce is a Professor of Economics at the University of East Anglia and has published extensively on the topic of merger control, including manuscripts on UK merger control and EU merger remedies.  An abstract for his presentation can be found below.

Abstract

This seminar provides an empirical overview of selected areas of competition enforcement by DG Comp and the CMA.  It is in two distinct parts reflecting forthcoming and recent policy presentations given in Brussels and London.  First, I review some trends and recent cases reviewed under the EU merger regulation.  A particular focus is on theories of harm used by DG Comp.  I also consider the efficiency defence in mobile telecoms and financial viability as a determinant of the counterfactual.  Second, I provide a brief overview of the first seven months of the CMA.  In which enforcement areas does the merger of the OFT and CC seem to be doing well and where is its early progress problematic?

The seminar takes place from 13:00-14:00 in the Thomas Paine Study Centre, Room 1.03.

‘Transition from Explicit to Tacit Collusion and the Bias in Cartel Damage Estimates’

We’re into November but still plenty more insightful seminars on competition policy await us this Autumn. We continue the series this week with our very own Carsten Crede (CCP & ECO), presenting his research on ‘Transition from Explicit to Tacit Collusion and the Bias in Cartel Damage Estimates‘. Carsten is a PhD researcher at the UEA School of Economics and his research interests include industrial organisation and applied econometrics.  An abstract for his presentation can be found below.

Abstract

We explore the determinants of the incidence and magnitude of post-cartel tacit collusion. In a market experiment we allow periods of explicit communication under different competitive regimes followed by periods of no-communication, in which tacit agreements may take place. In the communication phase, we separately employ fines with and without leniency, firms’ ability to use targeted punishment, and experience of prior non-communication market contact. Even though there are differences in the magnitude, we find that the incidence of post-cartel tacit collusion is a robust common phenomenon across treatments. Moreover, the magnitude of tacit collusion is determined specifically by preceding success of formation and stability of explicit cartels. This indicates that the standard methods of estimating cartel damages may have a downward bias as they do not consider the damages caused by the post cartel tacit collusion. Overcharge estimations show that this bias increases with preceding cartel success. Finally, since it is possible from the results to rank different competitive regimes in terms of the formation and stability of successful explicit cartel, this study can also provide prescriptions regarding minimizing such overall damages.

The seminar takes place from 13:00-14:00 on Friday 7th November in the Thomas Paine Study Centre, Room 1.03.