Although school meal programs have been around since the 1940s in countries such as Finland, Sweden, the UK, and the US, they have been difficult to evaluate. The US school lunch program, for instance, is federal: hence there is little variation across areas, and quasi-experimental approaches to measuring the effects are not easily applied (Hoynes […]
We focus on research that concerns antitrust policy, economic regulation, and market design. Questions of interest include the following:
How should we regulate horizontal and/or vertical mergers? Is there a trade-off between short run market power and longer run investment incentives?
How should we respond to departures from the competitive ideal in markets; with imperfect information, that are highly concentrated, that are natural monopolies, or that generate externalities resulting from knowledge producing activities?
How should centralized markets (like health insurance exchanges, kidney exchanges, and school choice mechanisms) be organized?
What is the optimal design of auctions to procure services for the government, such as highway construction contracts, or to sell government assets, such as spectrum or mineral rights?
How can policy makers detect and deter collusion?
How should patent policy be designed?
Innovation matters because it drives economic growth, increases profits, and can often make consumers better off. Innovating firms are sometimes taken over by incumbents, typically while the innovating firm remains in the early stages of product development. Economists have traditionally viewed these deals quite positively as a routine part of overall growth. Established firms which […]
How sensitive are inventors to changes in tax rates? This is a critical and controversial question in public policy given the centrality of the tax system to the structure of incentives in the real economy. While targeted tax policies, such as R&D tax credits, can spur innovation, our work focuses on whether general personal and […]
Many buyers, such as firms and government agencies, acquire products that are not commercially available — from customized parts for automobiles or airplanes to major weapons systems with novel capabilities. Suppliers who want to compete for these procurement contracts must engage in costly R&D to design and develop the relevant products. Accordingly, the potential suppliers […]
The competitive impacts of vertical mergers are a long-standing question in antitrust economics. A recent wave of vertical mergers has reinvigorated the academic and policy debate on enforcement, and the discussion is far from settled. An example of this is that US antitrust authorities presented new vertical merger guidelines in 2020, but the Federal Trade […]
Kidney failure is a leading cause of death around the world. The best treatment is transplantation, but no country is presently able to supply all the transplants required by its patient population. In the U.S. and many other countries, most transplants today come from deceased donors. Another source of kidneys for transplantation is from healthy […]
What roles do moral values play in election outcomes? What are the key moral frameworks that voters maintain? How do politicians appeal to these different moral frameworks? This article summarizes a recent research paper which examines these questions, by introducing a core aspect of modern moral psychology into the study of political economy. Universalist versus […]
Multinational corporations are among the most innovative firms – and they account for the majority of the investment in innovation made around the world. Yet compared with the fragmentation of multinationals’ production across countries, investment in innovation by these firms is typically concentrated in one ‘headquarters’ country. The potential geographical mismatch between where knowledge is […]
Health care markets have become increasingly concentrated through mergers and acquisitions. Proponents of this consolidation cite several potential benefits, including lower costs due to economies of scale and better patient outcomes through coordinated care. Greater concentration may also result in higher prices or lower quality, however. In a recent paper, funded in part by a […]
Measuring the extent to which firms pass changes in their performance through to worker earnings is challenging. Our work uses US patent allowance decisions as “natural experiments” that lift a company’s labor productivity. We find robust evidence that variability in firm performance is an important causal determinant of worker pay in our sample of small […]