Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Soft Law in Court. Competition Law, State Aid and the Court of Justice of the European Union

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Oana Stefan, HEC Paris, Law Department has a new book on Soft Law in Court: Competition Law, State Aid and the Court of Justice of the European Union.

BOOK ABSTRACT: Drawing on a data set of 696 documents – competition and state aid judgments, orders and opinions of the European Courts, and Advocates’ General opinions referring to various soft law instruments – this detailed textual and doctrinal analysis investigates the way in which the EU Courts deal with soft law, how the normative status of these instruments is acknowledged, and how their effects are recognized. It reveals that several ‘champion’ instruments feature frequently in the case law: the guidelines on fines and the leniency notice in competition law, the state aid instruments on aid to be granted to enterprises in difficulty, regional aid, de minimis aid, and aid to be granted to SMEs – all of them having in common the fact that they regulate highly litigated areas. The analysis treats issues such as the following:

• the pathway from judicial ignorance to judicial acknowledgement of soft law

• the judicial creation of legal ‘hybrids’

•the judicial review of soft law

• the potential use of soft law as a ‘sword’ or as a ‘shield’ in a court of law

• the distinction between legally binding force and legal effects

• how soft law can produce legal effects through the operation of general principles of law such as legitimate expectations, legal certainty, or human rights; and

• how the Courts locate soft law on a strong constitutional pluralist background.

Although the analysis might appear to relate to a fairly narrow spectrum of EU law, in fact the interaction of soft law and legal principles reaches into many diverse areas of law, and increasingly so in the twenty-first century. Consequently, this ground-breaking book will prove immeasurably valuable to any practitioner, academic, or policymaker interested in how the EU Court is fulfilling once again its constitutionalizing role, even in an area traditionally lacking formalism and conventions: that of soft instruments of governance.

March 23, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 22, 2013

What Do We Learn From Schumpeterian Growth Theory?

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Philippe Aghion (Harvard) Ufuk Akcigit (U Penn) and Peter Howitt (Brown) ask What Do We Learn From Schumpeterian Growth Theory?

ABSTRACT: Schumpeterian growth theory has “operationalized” Schumpeter’'s notion of creative destruction by developing models based on this concept. These models shed light on several aspects of the growth process which could not be properly addressed by alternative theories. In this survey, we focus on four important aspects, namely: (i) the role of competition and market structure; (ii) firm dynamics; (iii) the relationship between growth and development with the notion of appropriate growth institutions; (iv) the emergence and impact of long-term technological waves. In each case Schumpeterian growth theory delivers predictions that distinguish it from other growth models and which can be tested using micro data.

March 22, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Impact of Cartelization, Money, and Productivity Shocks on the International Great Depression

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Harold Cole, University of California, Los Angeles and Lee Ohanian, University of California, Los Angeles analyze The Impact of Cartelization, Money, and Productivity Shocks on the International Great Depression.

ABSTRACT: This study exploits panel data from 18 countries to assess the contributions of cartelization policies, monetary shocks, and productivity shocks on macroeconomic activity during the Great Depression. To construct a parsimonious and common model framework, we use the fact that many cartel policies are observationally equivalent to a country-specific labor tax wedge. We estimate a monetary DSGE model with cartel wedges along with productivity and monetary shocks. Our main finding is that cartel policy shocks account for the bulk of the Depression in the countries that adopted significant cartel policies, including the large depressions in the U.S., Germany, Italy, and Australia, and that the estimated cartel policy shocks plausibly coincide with the actual evolution of policies in these countries. In contrast, cartel policy shocks in the countries that did not significantly change policies were small and account for little of their Depressions.

March 22, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Mergers, Agency Costs, and Social Welfare

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Jean-Etienne de Bettignies, Queen’s University analyzes Mergers, Agency Costs, and Social Welfare.

ABSTRACT: We examine the impact of a merger to monopoly in a Cournot duopoly framework where managers make cost-reducing investment or effort decisions prior to choosing output. A well-established result is that, absent agency costs, the merger leads to greater investment and lower production costs. We show that, when agency costs are present, this result may be reversed, with mergers leading instead to lower investment/effort, higher production costs, and lower social welfare.

March 22, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Claim Efficiencies or Offer Remedies? An Analysis of Litigation Strategies in EC Mergers

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Peter L. Ormosi, University of East Anglia (UEA) asks Claim Efficiencies or Offer Remedies? An Analysis of Litigation Strategies in EC Mergers.

ABSTRACT: Efficiency defence and merger remedies are key components in most merger control regimes. Although in many jurisdictions both the provision of efficiency-related evidence and remedy offers are at the merging firms' discretion, most previous works have only analysed them separately. This paper is an attempt to empirically model the system of decisions that firms face in merger litigation where they are allowed to choose what combination of efficiency claims and settlement offers to make. The main novelty of this work is the use of data from company reports on the merger-generated synergy expectations signalled to shareholders, which allows the direct empirical testing of some of the assumptions and findings from previous works. Evidence is presented that the current EC merger control regime is incapable of extracting information from firms on their efficiency expectations and the identity and experience of the legal advisor plays a key role in this; that pre-merger synergy expectations enhance the willingness to offer remedies; and finally, that the cost of delay plays a central role in designing firms' litigation strategy, especially when these costs exceed the cost of the remedy.

March 21, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

After the ACA: Freeing the Market for Health Care

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

John H. Cochrane, University of Chicago - Booth School of Business argues for After the ACA: Freeing the Market for Health Care.

ABSTRACT: I survey the supply, demand, and market for health care and health insurance. I conclude that a much less regulated system is possible, and necessary. Cost control and technology improvement must come from disruptive competition from new suppliers, as it has in airlines, retail, internet, and other successful industries. People must direct their expenditures at the margin, and feel the benefits and costs of their decisions. Individual, portable, guaranteed renewable insurance can then emerge, addressing the pathologies of today’s insurance markets. I discuss how current law and regulations rather than fundamental market failures are the main reasons a healthy market does not emerge, and why a regulatory approach must fail. I address common objections to market-based health care and insurance.

March 21, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Traditional and Textualist Analysis of the Goals of Antitrust: Efficiency, Preventing Theft from Consumers, and Consumer Choice

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Robert H. Lande, University of Baltimore - School of Law offers A Traditional and Textualist Analysis of the Goals of Antitrust: Efficiency, Preventing Theft from Consumers, and Consumer Choice.

ABSTRACT: This article determines the overall purpose of the Antitrust statutes in two very different ways. First, it performs a traditional analysis of the legislative history of the Antitrust laws by analyzing relevant legislative debates and committee reports. Second, it undertakes a textualist or "plain meaning" determination of the purpose of the Antitrust statutes, using Justice Scalia's methodology. It does this by analyzing the meaning of key terms as they were used in contemporary dictionaries, legal treatises, common law cases, and the earliest U.S. Antitrust cases, and it does this in light of the history of the times.

Both approaches demonstrate that the overriding purpose of the Antitrust statutes is to prevent firms from stealing from consumers by charging them supracompetitive prices. When firms use their market power to raise prices to supracompetitive levels, consumers pay more for their goods and services, and these overcharges constitute a taking of consumers' property. Economic efficiency was only a secondary concern. In addition, the textualist approach leads to the surprising conclusion that neither the Sherman Act nor the Clayton Act contain an exception for monopolies attained through efficient business conduct. The Antitrust laws are supposed to prevent and condemn all privately created monopolies.

March 21, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Should Competition Policy in Banking Be Amended during Crises? Lessons from the EU

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Iftekhar Hasan, Fordham University; Bank of Finland and Matej Marinc, University of Ljubljana - Faculty of Economics; University of Amsterdam ask Should Competition Policy in Banking Be Amended during Crises? Lessons from the EU.

ABSTRACT: This article investigates the nexus of competition and stability in European banking. It analyzes the European legal framework for competition policy in banking and several cases that pertain to anti-cartel policy, merger policy, and state-aid control. It discusses whether and how competition policy should be amended in order to preserve the stability of the banking system during crises. The article argues for increased cooperation between prudential regulators and competition authorities, as well as an enhanced framework for bank regulation, supervision, and resolution that could mitigate the need to change competition policy in crisis times.

March 21, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Reverse Payments, Perverse Incentives

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Murat C. Mungan, Florida State University - College of Law suggests Reverse Payments, Perverse Incentives.

ABSTRACT: Issuing and enforcing prescription drug patents requires courts and legislatures to strike a delicate balance. A patent gives drug manufacturers a legal, if temporary, monopoly on sales of a drug; this encourages manufacturers to engage in costly research and development of new medicines. But not all patents issued by the Patent Office are ultimately deemed valid – generic drug manufacturers can infringe the patent, and, when sued, attack its validity in court on a variety of grounds, including obviousness. In recent years, patent holders have begun to settle these suits (which they initiated) by paying the alleged infringer. Not surprisingly, these reverse payment settlements (“RPSs”) have been challenged on antitrust grounds. The federal courts of appeals split over whether this practice is presumptively an illegal restraint of trade, and in December 2012 the Supreme Court agreed to decide the issue, granting a writ of certiorari in FTC v. Watson Pharmaceuticals. In light of the importance of the issue to both drug consumers and manufacturers, it is crucial to understand the economic effects of RPSs. Many courts, including the Second Circuit and the Eleventh Circuit, commentators and scholars have suggested that restricting RPSs would necessarily retard technological progress, by reducing the expected returns of becoming a patentee. In this Article, I show, with the help of a game-theoretical model, that this conclusion is unwarranted. Restricting RPSs has the effect of chilling generic entry when – and only when – the underlying patent is strong, or likely to be held valid and infringed. Therefore, restricting RPSs increases the expected returns of holding a strong patent by eliminating potential payments to generic entrants, while at the same time eliminating the possibility of monopoly profit-splitting between branded and generic manufacturers when the patent is weak. This reward shifting effect implies that restricting the use of RPSs is likely to foster more revolutionary innovations, which lead to stronger patents, while lowering R&D towards relatively obvious inventions, which lead to weaker patents. This reward shifting effect of restrictive rules on RPSs, to the best of my knowledge, has gone unnoticed in the past, and it should play an important role in the Supreme Court’s cost benefit analysis.

March 20, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Primer on AIDS-Based Models in Antitrust Analysis

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Shawn W. Ulrick, U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers A Primer on AIDS-Based Models in Antitrust Analysis.

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this paper is to provide an introduction to AIDS-based demand systems. We discuss derivation of the AIDS model from its microeconomic foundations, clearly state the assumptions underlying AIDS, and provide a primer on how to implement the model in practice. We use a high level of detail to show every step of the AIDS process. We detail the algebra because the original articles by either Deaton and Muellbauer (in 1980) or Hausman et al. (in various papers over several years) skip most of the steps. We discuss using the AIDS model by itself and in two variations of Hausman et al.’s multilevel systems. We briefly discuss some pitfalls common to all demand systems. Finally, at the end of this document, we provide an example of how the elasticities may be used to predict post-merger price changes via a linear approximation to the Bertrand model.

March 20, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Patent Assertion Entities: Six Actions the Antitrust Agencies Can Take

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Mike Carrier (Rutgers Camden) argues for Patent Assertion Entities: Six Actions the Antitrust Agencies Can Take.

ABSTRACT: One of the most pressing issues confronting antitrust in 2013 (and beyond) involves patent assertion entities (“PAEs”), previously known as patent trolls. Supporters proclaim PAEs’ benefits to “invention markets.” Critics lament extortion-like demands. Into this debate tiptoes antitrust, wondering if it can play any meaningful role.

In this article, I offer six actions the antitrust agencies can take to address PAEs: (1) Offer guidance about potential harms from patent aggregation, (2) Promote transparency, (3) Prohibit transfers to PAEs that refuse to adhere to previous standards-based licensing promises, (4) Use PAEs’ distinct incentives to employ Clayton Act Section 7 when “plus” factors are met, (5) Monitor collusive activity, and (6) Consider the use of FTC Section 5.

Antitrust enforcement is crucial to the protection of consumers and a competitive marketplace. Even if certain PAEs can justify some of their conduct, that does not mean that all PAE activity is immune from antitrust scrutiny. For if it was so protected, then the most aggressive and unjustified behavior, undertaken by PAEs with the greatest market power and largest portfolios, and inflicting the greatest harm on rivals and consumers, would fall through the antitrust cracks.

The novelty of PAE behavior ensures that the framework must be applied flexibly. But antitrust enforcement cannot automatically be shunned in a context that presents new and powerful opportunities to inflict anticompetitive harm.

March 20, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Compliance Costs—Breaking Seals in European Commission Investigations

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Suzanne Rab (King and Spalding) explores Compliance Costs—Breaking Seals in European Commission Investigations.

ABSTRACT: The Court of Justice of the EU has dismissed an appeal against a European Commission decision fining E.ON €38 million for breaking a seal during an EU competition inspection.

March 20, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

GCR Women in Antitrust 2013 - Academics

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Among the GCR Women in Antitrust 2013 are a number of academics:

Margaret Bloom (Kings College - Law)
Amelia Fletcher (University of East Anglia - Economics)
Eleanor Fox (NYU - Law)
Michal Gal (University of Haifa - Law)
Leslie Marx (Duke - Fuqua School of Business)
Fiona Scott Morton (Yale School of Management)

March 19, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

GCR Women in Antitrust 2013

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

The Global Competition Review has listed its 100 most important women in global antitrust in its special issue GCR Women in Antitrust 2013. Making the list are:

ASTRID ABLASSER-NEUHUBER

MELANIE AITKEN

SOFIA ALVES

KALA ANANDARAJAH

MARIANA TAVARES DE ARAUJO

ELIZABETH AVERY

KELYN BACON

ANITA BANICEVIC

MARGARET BLOOM

MOLLY BOAST

ANNE-SOPHIE BODIN

SONYA BRANCH

JULIE BRILL

PATRICIA BRINK

LUCIA OJEDA CARDENAS

FIONA CARLIN

ELSA CHEN

KIM DIETZEL

TAMARA DINI

NINETTE DODOO

KAREN DYEKJÆR

KIRSTEN EDWARDS-WARREN

TAL EYAL-BOGER

ANNE FEDERLE

DEBORAH FEINSTEIN

KATHRYN FENTON

CANI FERNÁNDEZ

AMELIA FLETCHER

ELEANOR FOX

JOY FUYUNO

MICHAL GAL

DEBORAH GARZA

AGNETE GERSING

ISOLDE GOGGIN

ILENE KNABLE GOTTS

NIAMH GROGAN

DOROTHY HANSBERRY-BIEGUNSKA

CATRIONA HATTON

ROXANN HENRY

RENATA HESSE

JANET HUI

BOJANA IGNJATOVIC

AIMEE IMUNDO

HEATHER IRVINE

DIANA JACKSON

CLAIRE JEFFS

HELEN JENKINS

MEGAN JONES

PAMELA JONES-HARBOUR

NICOLE KAR

KATHERINE KAY

SARAH KEENE

HELEN KELLY

MARLEEN VAN KERCKHOVE

MAŁGORZATA KRASNODEBSKA-TOMKIEL

ELIZABETH KRAUS

JENNI LUKANDER

LYNDA MARSHALL

ANA PAULA MARTINEZ

LESLIE MARX

CHRISTINE MEYER

SAMANTHA MOBLEY

SOPHIE MOONEN

FIONA SCOTT MORTON

LINSEY McCALLUM

JANET McDAVID

NICOLE NEHME

EE KIA NG

SUSAN NING

MAUREEN OHLHAUSEN

ANNETJE OTTOW

STEPHANIE PAUTKE

ANNE PERROT

LISA PHELAN

VERONICA PINOTTI

SHARIS POZEN

SHILA DORAI RAJ

BARBARA ROSENBERG

MARGARET SANDERSON

ANNETTE SCHILD

EMILY SMITH

JULIE SOLOWAY

DOMINIQUE SPEEKENBRINK

MARIANA TAVARES

NICOLA THERON

MÉLANIE THILL-TAYARA

MARIA TRABUCCHI

DEIRDRE TRAPP

ANNY TUBBS

VANESSA TURNER

INGRID VANDENBORRE

SUZANNE WACHSSTOCK

CLARA GUZMÁN ZAPATER

CRISTIANNE SACCAB ZARZUR

ELENA ZOIDO

MARGARET ZWISLER

March 19, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Some Recent Developments in ASEAN Competition Law

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

R. Ian McEwin (Competition Consulting Asia & Chulalongkorn University) provides Some Recent Developments in ASEAN Competition Law.

ABSTRACT: All countries in Southeast Asia are hierarchical and authoritarian to some degree, which has implications for competition. All countries are marked by considerable inequalities in status, wealth, and education. With the exception of Singapore, corruption and cronyism are widespread. Big business in Southeast Asia is mainly dominated by ethnic Chinese families, originally brought in during the 18 and 19th centuries as cheap labor or with skills as traders, tax farmers, miners, and artisans-skills lacking among the indigenous population (who were mainly farmers). To protect against property expropriation, taxes, and limited ability to enforce contracts, they developed their own financial networks and relationships based on family and clan groups-perhaps best described as closed shops that sought to limit competition. At the same time, self-serving political elites awarded monopoly privileges.

Nevertheless, economic necessities now drive public policy in this region. While patronage is still important, competition is now increasingly seen as necessary for economic development-but competition upsets traditional monopoly privileges that form the basis of much elite wealth and is resisted politically by governments of all ideological persuasions. Using competition law to improve economic outcomes, if properly enforced, disrupts pre-existing monopoly privileges.

March 19, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

GCR Awards 2013: Finalists announced & voting open

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

GCR Awards 2013: Finalists announced & voting open

Global Competition Review is pleased to publish the shortlist of nominations for its GCR Awards 2013.

Please click here to vote. Voting closes at midnight on Tuesday 26 March.

The winners will be announced at GCR's 3rd Annual Awards Dinner on 9 April in Washington, DC. Click here for more information on the awards dinner.

All nominations link to the relevant GCR news article on the matter in question. If you feel you or your organisation have not been properly represented on a case, please email editorial@globalcompetitionreview.com .

Team awards

Matter of the Year

FTC investigation of Google

Sony/EMI & Universal/EMI

UTC/Goodrich

Defence of Chunghwa in global CRT and LCD cartel investigations

Watson/Actavis

Merger Control Matter of the Year – Americas

Opposition to Tervita/Complete Environmental, Canada

Camargo Corrêa’s acquisition of CIMPOR, Brazil

Rockstar acquisition of Nortel patent portfolio, US

Dollar Thrifty/Hertz, US

Fresenius/Liberty Dialysis, US

Merger Control Matter of the Year – Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa

Eaton/Cooper, China

UTC/Goodrich, China

Nestlé/Pfizer

Toshiba’s acquisition of Western Digital’s 3.5 inch HDD business

Pannar/Pioneer, South Africa

Merger Control Matter of the Year – Europe

Orange Austria/Hutchison 3G Austria

IAG/BMI

Lafarge/Anglo American

Glencore/Xstrata

Interveners in UPS/TNT

Behavioural Matter of the Year – Americas

FTC standard essential patent investigation of Google

FTC v Watson Pharmaceuticals

DoJ e-books investigation

FTC v WL Gore

CADE v Philip Morris

Behavioural Matter of the Year – Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa

Coca-Cola retail display investigation, Singapore

Cement cartel case, India

First case from a leniency application, Pakistan

The North Face resale price maintenance case, Korea

Behavioural Matter of the Year – Europe

Defence of British Airways in OFT fuel surcharge case

EU e-book settlement

Nexans and Prysmian v DG Comp dawn raids

E.ON and GDF Suez v DG Comp

DG Comp v Tomkins

Litigation of the Year

National Grid v Gas-insulated switchgear cartelists, UK

2Travel Group plc v Cardiff City Transport Services Limited (Cardiff Bus) before the CAT, UK

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan in antitrust class actions, US

In RE Live Concert Antitrust Litigation, US

Defence of Toshiba in TFT-LCD Antitrust Litigation, US

In RE Southeastern Milk Antitrust Litigation, US

Individuals' awards

Lawyer of the Year

Susan Creighton – Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

David I Gelfand – Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Clifford Aronson – Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Christopher Curran – White & Case

Jon Lawrence – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Arthur J Burke – Davis Polk & Wardwell

Lawyer of the Year - 40 and under

Casey Halladay – McMillan

Eric Stock – Hogan Lovells

Leah Brannon – Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Ingrid Vandenborre – Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Rafique Bachour – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Economist of the Year

Parker Normann – Edgeworth Economics

Andrea Lofaro – RBB Economics

Gunnar Niels – Oxera

Cristina Caffarra – Charles River Associates

Zoltan Biro – Frontier Economics

Corporate Counsel of the Year

Mark Allen, FedEx

Juliusz Komorek, Ryanair

Marceline Tournier, Nestlé SA

Michael Sosso, BP America

Christoph Feddersen, UTC

Academic Excellence Award

Daniel Sokol – University of Florida

Joshua Wright, George Mason University (current FTC commissioner)

Damien Geradin, Tillburg University

Fiona Scott Morton, Yale University (Charles River Associates)

Mark Lemley, Stanford Law School

Speech or Conference Session of the Year

Ali Nikpay, senior director at the OFT, “UK cartel enforcement: past, present, future”

GCR Live: Litigation 2012, “Does competition economics need an overhaul?”

William E. Kovacic, Centre of European Law, London, July 2012

Enforcement awards

Agency of the Year – Americas

Brazil’s CADE

US Department of Justice’s antitrust division

Mexico’s Federal Competition Commission

Canada’s Competition Bureau

US Federal Trade Commission

Agency of the Year – Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa

India’s Competition Commission

Japan’s Fair Trade Commission

Pakistan’s Competition Commission

Turkey’s Competition Authority

Agency of the Year – Europe

Germany’s Federal Cartel Office

European Commission’s Directorate General of Competition

France’s Competition Authority

Spain’s National Competition Commission

Norway’s Competition Authority

Enforcement Matter of the Year

Court of Appeal of England & Wales in Ryanair Holdings plc v Office of Fair Trading

Acquisition of TPS and CanalSatellite’s sole control by Vivendi Universal and Canal Plus - France's Competition Authority

European Commission CRT cartel fine

DoJ v AUO

Commissioner of Competition v CCS Corporation/Commissioner of Competition v Tervita Corporation

 

March 19, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Pass-Through as an Economic Tool

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

E. Glen Weyl, University of Chicago; University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics and Michal Fabinger, Pennsylvania State University discuss Pass-Through as an Economic Tool.

ABSTRACT: We extend five principles of tax incidence under perfect competition to a general model of imperfect competition. The principles cover 1) the independence of physical and economic incidence, the 2) qualitative and 3) quantitative manner in which taxes are split between consumers and producers, 4) the determinants of tax pass-through and 5) the integration of local incidence to determine the overall division of surplus. We show how these principles can be used to simplify and generalize the analysis of a range of economic questions such as the optimal procurement of new markets and the welfare effects of third-degree price discrimination.

March 19, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Does a hospital’s quality depend on the quality of other hospitals? A spatial econometrics approach to investigating hospital quality competition

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Hugh Gravelle (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK), Rita Santos (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK) and Luigi Siciliani (Centre for Health Economics and Department of Economics & Related Studies, University of York, UK ask Does a hospital’s quality depend on the quality of other hospitals? A spatial econometrics approach to investigating hospital quality competition.

ABSTRACT: We examine whether a hospital's quality is affected by the quality provided by other hospitals in the same market. We first set out a theoretical model with regulated prices which specifies conditions on demand and cost functions which determine whether a hospital will have higher quality when its rivals have higher quality. We then apply spatial econometric methods to a sample of English hospitals in 2009-10 and a set of 16 quality measures including mortality rates, readmission, revision and redo rates and three patient reported indicators to examine to examine the relationship between the quality of hospitals. We find that a hospital's quality is positively associated with the quality of its rivals for seven out of the sixteen quality measures and that in no case is there a negative association. In those cases where there is a positive association, an increase in rivals' quality by 10% increases a! hospital's quality by 1.7% to 2.9%.

March 19, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Product Market Predatory Threats and the Use of Performance-sensitive Debt

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Einar Kjenstad and Xunhua Su (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) describe Product Market Predatory Threats and the Use of Performance-sensitive Debt.

ABSTRACT: We use a variant of the Hotelling (1929) model to illustrate that, when a firm faces hard payment constraint(s), financially strong rivals may adopt predatory strategies to drive the firm out of the product market and hence to obtain extra profit from enhanced market power later on. Predation is more likely to occur if the payment constraint is contingent on the firm’s performance. The model predicts that higher predatory threats in the product market reduce firm’s use of performance-sensitive debt and this effect should be more pronounced for small firms with large growth opportunities. Through a sample of over 16,000 bank loans to U.S. borrowers in 1997-2008, we find empirical evidence to support these model predictions.

March 19, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lateral Move: Judge Douglas Ginsburg from NYU to George Mason

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Judge Douglas Ginsburg (NYU Law and the DC Circuit) has decided to make a lateral move from NYU Law to George Mason Law. Judge Ginsburg served as the Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust under Reagan and also served as Judge on the DC Circuit. He has continued to write on antitrust issues over the years and will teach antitrust at George Mason this fall. I also believe that between Judge Ginsburg and Tim Muris (former Chairman of the FTC), George Mason will be the only school in law school history to have agency heads of both antitrust agencies on the same faculty. See the press release here. This is a major lateral move.

March 18, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)