Monday, May 9, 2022

Fourteenth Annual Northwestern Conference on Antitrust Economics and Competition Policy: Call for Papers May 20, 2022

Fourteenth Annual Northwestern Conference on
Antitrust Economics and Competition Policy


Sponsored by Compass Lexecon


Call for Papers

Friday, September 16—Saturday, September 17, 2022

Submission Deadline: May 20, 2022

The Northwestern Center on Law, Business, and Economics at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and the Center for the Study of Industrial Organization at Northwestern are issuing a call for original research papers to be presented in-person at the Fourteenth Annual Conference on Antitrust Economics and Competition Policy.  This year’s conference will return to the in-person two-day event format and will run from approximately 9:00 AM (Central) on Friday, September 16, 2022 to 12:30 PM (Central) on Saturday, September 17, 2022.

We are delighted to announce that Compass Lexecon has agreed to provide the funding to support both this year’s conference. As always, conference organizers will be solely responsible for choosing papers and speakers.

The goal of this conference is to provide a forum where leading scholars from across the world can gather together with Northwestern’s own distinguished faculty to present and discuss high quality research relevant to antitrust economics and competition policy. Both theoretical and empirical submissions are welcome.  Papers in industrial organization or applied microeconomic theory that address issues relevant to antitrust policy are welcome even if they do not directly focus on particular antitrust policy issues or institutions.  While papers on all topics are welcome, we especially encourage submissions related to the following topic areas: 

  • digital platforms and competition policy
  • privacy, data security, and competition policy
  • innovation and competition policy
  • vertical mergers/integration
  • vertical contracting, foreclosure/exclusion
  • the effectiveness of behavioral remedies
  • buyer power and monopsony power
  • EU platform regulation

We hope to involve leading thinkers from the government, non-profit, and private sector, as well as leading academics from economics departments, business schools, law schools and public policy schools. While most of the conference will be devoted to presentation and discussion of original academic research, we also expect to schedule a small number of panels on important current topics or policy issues.   

If you have questions about the appropriateness of your topic for the conference, or suggestions for panel subjects, please contact Professor William Rogerson, Professor of Economics and CLBE Research Director on Competition, Antitrust and Regulation at [email protected].

Papers prepared for the Fourteenth Annual Conference on Antitrust Economics and Competition Policy will be permanently hosted on the Center on Law, Business, and Economics website as part of our Working Papers Series:              

Authors will be free to publish their work in other venues.


Research Proposals should include an abstract (300 words maximum) and c.v.

Proposal Submission Deadline: Research Proposals should be submitted to [email protected] by close of business on May 20, 2022.

Notification Deadline:  Research Proposals will be reviewed by a committee.  Authors will be notified of the committee’s decisions on or around June 15, 2022.

May 9, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

GDPR and the Lost Generation of Innovative Apps

Using data on 4.1 million apps at the Google Play Store from 2016 to 2019, we document that GDPR induced the exit of about a third of available apps; and in the quarters following implementation, entry of new apps fell by half. We estimate a structural model of demand and entry in the app market. Comparing long-run equilibria with and without GDPR, we find that GDPR reduces consumer surplus and aggregate app usage by about a third. Whatever the privacy benefits of GDPR, they come at substantial costs in foregone innovation.

May 9, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Anti-Collusion Leniency Programs and the Pricing of IPOs: International Evidence

Anti-Collusion Leniency Programs and the Pricing of IPOs: International Evidence



Huu Nhan Duong

Monash University - Department of Banking and Finance; Financial Research Network (FIRN)

Abhinav Goyal

University College Cork

Leon Zolotoy

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Business School



We provide evidence that anti-collusion leniency legislations around the world reduce IPO underpricing. The effect is amplified (mitigated) among IPOs with more prominent agency concerns (lower level of information asymmetry) and is mitigated in countries with stringent financial reporting regulations and strong external governance mechanisms. Following the passage of the legislations, IPOs have higher float, manifest a stronger link between proceeds raised and post-IPO operating performance, and are more likely to disclose the use of proceeds and to be oversubscribed. Our results are consistent with the view that leniency legislations mitigate informational and agency-related frictions, resulting in less underpriced IPOs.

May 9, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 6, 2022

The Role of Competition Law in Regulating Data in China's Digital Economy

The Role of Competition Law in Regulating Data in China's Digital Economy


Wendy Ng

University of Melbourne - Law School



As the digital economy has grown and data has become a more valuable and critical resource, the collection, use, and sharing of data by companies have come under increasingly intense regulatory scrutiny. The relevance and appropriateness of antitrust and competition laws to deal with data, particularly in the context of the digital economy, are being examined and considered by antitrust and competition regulators and governments around the world. Similar discussions and issues are also becoming prominent in China. Not only has China been developing an increasingly sophisticated legal regime to regulate and enable the state to exercise control over data, it has also clearly tightened and increased regulatory scrutiny and control over Internet and technology companies. In particular, competition law has played a conspicuous role in China’s regulatory campaign to clamp down on the Internet and technology sector.

This article examines whether and how China’s competition laws might apply to regulate the data and data practices of Internet and technology companies. It does so by undertaking a political economy and contextual exploration of China’s data regulatory environment and its relationship and interaction with China’s competition laws. The nature of China’s political economy, as well as of its competition laws, means that a variety of interests, goals, and priorities – which might encompass concerns that other jurisdictions might regard as being beyond the purview of competition law – are considered and balanced in the enforcement of competition law, under the macroeconomic supervision and guidance of the state.

May 6, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Complexity-Minded Antitrust

Complexity-Minded Antitrust


Nicolas Petit

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW)

Thibault Schrepel

University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne; VU University Amsterdam; Stanford University's Codex Center; Sciences Po



Complexity science is widely used across the policy spectrum but not in antitrust. This is unfortunate. Complexity science enables a rich understanding of competition beyond the simplistic descriptions of markets and firms proposed by neoclassical models and their contemporary neo-Brandeisian critique. Many novel insights can be gained by supporting more openness to some of its key teachings, like feedback loops and the role of uncertainty. The present article lays down the building blocks of a complexity-minded antitrust method.

May 5, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Cartel Damage Mitigation from Retailers' Store Brands

Cartel Damage Mitigation from Retailers' Store Brands


Roman Inderst

Goethe University Frankfurt

Marco J.W. Kotschedoff

KU Leuven

Raphael Kuhlmann

Goethe University Frankfurt



As store brands (or private labels) are not only common in many product categories but are often procured competitively from different sources or even through vertical integration, they may be not or much less directly affected by a cartel induced overcharge. The first part of this article provides the economic foundations for how we should expect retailers to optimally adjust their store brand prices when facing higher wholesale prices on national brands. While retailers should pass on at least some of the overcharge for national brands, resulting in a price increase for national brands, theoretically their optimal response with respect to store brands is ambiguous, as there are two potentially opposing effect, a "demand diversion effect" and a "margin effect". Consumers could thus face either lower or higher store brand prices when there is a cartel of brand manufacturers. In any case, however, the optimal reaction of retailers allows them to mitigate the immediate damage inflicted by the overcharge on national brands, which raises the question to what extent such mitigation should be accounted for in follow-on cases. In the second part of the paper we illustrate our arguments with an empirical analysis of the German coffee cartel.

May 4, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Does Entry Remedy Collusion? Evidence from the Generic Prescription Drug Cartel

Entry represents a fundamental threat to cartels engaged in price fixing. We study the extent and effect of this behavior in the largest price fixing case in US history, which involves generic drugmakers. To do so, we link information on the cartel’s internal operations to regulatory filings and market data. We find that collusion induces significant entry, which in turn reduces prices. However, regulatory approvals delay most entrants by 2-4 years. We then estimate a structural model to assess counterfactual policies. We find that reducing regulatory delays by just 1-2 years equates to consumer compensating variation of $597 million-$1.52 billion.

May 3, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 2, 2022

Public-private Collusion

Public-private Collusion


Filipa Mota

Católica Porto Business School

Joao Correia‐da‐Silva

Universidade do Porto

Joana Pinho

Catholic University of Portugal (UCP) - Católica Porto Business School



We study collusion between a public firm and a private firm, characterizing the outcome (market shares, profits, and consumer surplus) that results from Nash bargaining between the two firms relative to the non-cooperative outcome. We find that if the public firm’s preference for consumer surplus is mild, both firms reduce output (as in a private duopoly). If it is intermediate, while the public firm reduces output, the private firm expands output to such an extent that total output increases. If it is strong, the output expansion by the private firm does not compensate for the output contraction by the public firm, and thus total output decreases. We also assess the impact of relative bargaining power and study collusion sustainability. Our results suggest that collusion reduces the productive inefficiency caused by the public firm being more expansionary, and may lead to higher profits and consumer surplus.

May 2, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fare Evasion and Monopoly Regulation

Fare Evasion and Monopoly Regulation



Martin Besfamille

Instituto de Economía, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Nicolas Figueroa

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

León Guzmán

New York University (NYU)

Date Written: 2022


We consider the regulation of a monopoly facing consumers that may evade payments, an important issue in public utilities. To maximize total surplus, the regulator sets the price and socially costly transfers, ensuring that the monopoly breaks-even. With costly effort, the firm can deter evasion. Under unit demand and fixed quality, price is independent of marginal cost, but increasing in the marginal cost of public funds. When quality is endogenous, we find sufficient conditions that imply a non-monotonic relation between price and marginal cost of public funds. We extend the model to consider non-unit demand and moral hazard.

May 2, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)