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Managing competition in professional services and the burden of inertia

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Abstract

Professional services require certain organizational patterns in order to avoid information asymmetries and external effects. These same patterns are used within production structures involving various degrees of monopoly. However, competitive restraints are justified today only when substantial external effects are clearly present, whereas information asymmetries hardly justify such restraints because reputational investments have become widespread in the economy and are relatively efficient in overcoming such asymmetries. As a consequence, innovation in the production of externalities can make competitive constraints unnecessary.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 827.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:827

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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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Keywords: professions; competition; lawyers; notaries; pharmacists;

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  1. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-25, June.
  2. Darby, Michael R & Karni, Edi, 1973. "Free Competition and the Optimal Amount of Fraud," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 67-88, April.
  3. Kraakman, Reiner H, 1986. "Gatekeepers: The Anatomy of a Third-Party Enforcement Strategy," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(1), pages 53-104, Spring.
  4. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  5. Benito Arruñada, 2001. "Property enforcement as organized consent," Economics Working Papers 564, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  6. Williamson, Oliver E, 1983. "Credible Commitments: Using Hostages to Support Exchange," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 519-40, September.
  7. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
  8. Shapiro, Carl, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-79, November.
  9. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-29, March-Apr.
  10. Benito Arru�ada, 2004. "Quality safeguards and regulation of online pharmacies," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(4), pages 329-344.
  11. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
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