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 […]
Organisation of Markets
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?
Effects of vertical mergers on competition: evidence from the carbonated drinks industry
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 Exchange: An Operations Perspective
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 […]
Moral Values and Voting
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 […]
Innovation in the global firm
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 […]
How acquisitions affect firm behavior and performance: Evidence from the dialysis industry
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 […]
Who Profits from Patents? Rent-Sharing at Innovative Firms
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 […]
Capitalists in the Twenty-First Century
Suppose you happen to meet a very high earner. How does she typically make her money? Is she likely a human capitalist, in that she makes most of her income from her labor or other human capital? Or is she likely a financial capitalist, in that she makes most of her income from her portfolio […]
Insuring the Poor: Experimental evidence from contract farming in Kenya
Throughout the world, the poor purchase less insurance (Rampini and Viswanathan 2016), and insurance markets are especially thin in the developing world. This could reflect supply-side problems: insurance is a complicated and highly regulated product, reliant on effective financial and legal institutions. Yet surprisingly, the binding constraint is often on the demand side. Across many […]
Jury verdicts: evidence from eighteenth century London of the dangers of sequential decision-making
Every day, people make numerous decisions and judgments. Although these decisions differ in many dimensions – including the degree of deliberation, the number of people involved, and the stakes or consequences – many are sequential in nature. Research in a wide range of contexts has documented potential biases that can arise with such sequential decision-making, […]