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Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Emergence of Forensic Economics in Competition Law: Foundations for a Sociological Analysis

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Ioannis Lianos, University College London - Faculty of Laws discusses The Emergence of Forensic Economics in Competition Law: Foundations for a Sociological Analysis.

ABSTRACT: The emergence of the role of forensic economics in competition law and policy the last four decades has been a major episode in the professionalization of economics and its increasing interaction with the legal sphere. Yet, there have only been very few studies examining from a sociological perspective the impact of forensic economics on the development of the research agenda of industrial economics and more generally the production of economic knowledge. The aim of this study is to critically examine how the emergence of forensic economics may impact on the production and evaluation of economic knowledge. The hypothesis to be investigated is that the production of economic knowledge, 'in the context of application' (that is, 'following the codes of practice relevant to a particular discipline and problem solving which is organized around a particular application') across a heterogeneous environment characterized by the presence of multiple institutions (e.g. Universities, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, private consultancies) affects the research agenda and the epistemic validity of the discipline of economics. The research will focus on an area of economics, with a significant 'context of application', the field of applied Industrial Organization (IO) or competition economics. It will also concentrate on the analysis of the impact of private economic consultancies, as opposed to other institutions. The objective is to reflect on the theoretical foundations of a sociological analysis of forensic economics and more broadly on the relationship of academic economic 'science' and economic science produced in the context of application (regulatory science), in this case economics applied in the field of competition law and policy. After examining the emergence of forensic economics as a separate field (2), we will examine the reality of forensic economics from the perspective of various theoretical approaches in sociology.

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