Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ten Years of Pros and Cons Conferences

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Arvid Fredenberg (Swedish Competition Authority) describes Ten Years of Pros and Cons Conferences. As a participant in one of these conferences, I should add that I think that the Swedish Competition Authority really does a nice job in putting together good themes and a lively debate.

ABSTRACT: It could have started better. Einar Hope, former Director-General of the Norwegian Competition Authority and Professor of Energy Economics at the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration phoned in on September 5, 2002 to say that he had sprained his ankle and was unable to attend the conference. He was supposed to be the moderator of the Swedish Competition Authority's first Pros and Cons conference, the Pros and Cons of Merger Control. When Director-General Ann-Christin Nykvist next day entered the stage in the meeting room Trafalgar in a hotel in the Old Town of Stockholm she did not know that it marked the beginning of a now ten-year old tradition of organizing Pros and Cons conferences....Among the research seminars we arrange, the series of Pros and Cons conferences are our success story. We have covered numerous topics throughout the years. We always try to set a timely topic in order to stimulate discussions and let the input from the researchers influence the agenda. A timely topic is one of the keys to our success in organizing conferences. Finding the best mix of researchers and discussants to get a thought-provoking discussion is another.

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