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Professional interpretation of the standard of proof: An experimental test on merger regulation

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Author Info

  • Bruce Lyons

    (University of East Anglia)

  • Gordon Douglas Menzies

    (University of Technology Sydney)

  • Daniel John Zizzo

    (University of East Anglia)

Abstract

There is considerable debate about the alternative economic approaches to merger control taken by competition authorities. However, differences in economic analysis are not the only reason for alternative decisions. We conduct an experiment in decision making in the context of merger appraisal, identifying the separate influences of different standards of proof, volumes of evidence, cost of error and professional training. The experiment was conducted on current practitioners from nine different jurisdictions, in addition to student subjects. We find that legal standards of proof significantly affect decisions, and identify specific differences due to professional judgment. We are further able to narrow the range of explanations for why professionalization matters.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. in its series Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) with number 09-16.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:uea:wcbess:09-16

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Postal: Helen Chapman, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
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Related research

Keywords: standard of proof; experiment; merger control;

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  1. Charness, Gary & Haruvy, Ernan & Sonsino, Doron, 2007. "Social distance and reciprocity: An Internet experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 88-103, May.
  2. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
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