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Monoculture versus diversity in competition economics

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  • Budzinski, Oliver

Abstract

Economics rightfully represents the major basis for competition policy. Next to generating knowledge about competition and its welfare effects, the currently popular 'more-economic approach' is charged with a number of additional hopes and expectations, leading to a reduction of the ambiguities of real-world competition policy. While this article highlights the benefits of economics-based competition policy, it takes a cautious stance towards excessive expectations in particular regarding the idea that a monocultural, 'unified' competition theory as an exact, objective, and unerring scientific approach to antitrust makes normative assessment and generalizations superfluous. In a combination of two lines of argumentation, diversity in competition economics is advocated. Firstly, competition economics is empirically characterized by a considerable pluralism of theories and policy paradigms. This includes deviating views on core concepts like the nature of competition, the meaning of efficiency, or the goals of antitrust. Secondly, it is demonstrated that diversity of theories represents no imperfection of the state of science. In contrast, it is theoretically beneficial for future scientific progress. Therefore, no ultimate competition theory can ever be expected. As a consequence, the 'more-economic approach' must be extended in order to embrace diversity. This does not decrease its meaning and importance but instead puts some of the related high hopes into perspective. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Duisburg-Essen, Faculty for Economics and Business Administration in its series IBES Diskussionsbeiträge with number 158.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:udewwd:158

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Keywords: antitrust; more-economic approach; competition policy paradigms; industrial economics; methodology of science;

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Cited by:
  1. Budzinski, Oliver, 2012. "International antitrust institutions," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 72, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
  2. Oliver Budzinski, 2009. "An international multilevel competition policy system," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 367-389, December.
  3. Andrew Mearman & Tim Wakeley & Gamila Shoib & Don J. Webber, 2011. "Does Pluralism in Economics Education Make Better Educated, Happier Students? A Qualitative Analysis," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 10(2), pages 50-62.
  4. Oliver Budzinski, 2009. "Modern Industrial Economics and Competition Policy: Open Problems and Possible Limits," Working Papers 93/09, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Environmental and Business Economics.
  5. Willem H. Boshoff, 2013. "Why define markets in competition cases?," Working Papers 10/2013, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  6. Oliver Budzinski, 2008. "Europäische Medienmärkte: Die Rolle der Wettbewerbspolitik," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200806, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  7. Oliver Budzinski & Jürgen-Peter Kretschmer, 2009. "Horizontal Mergers, Involuntary Unemployment, and Welfare," Working Papers 90/09, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Environmental and Business Economics.
  8. Budzinski, Oliver & Haji Ali Beigi, Maryam, 2013. "Competition policy agendas for industrializing countries," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 81, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
  9. Budzinski, Oliver, 2012. "Empirische Ex-Post Evaluation von wettbewerbspolitischen Entscheidungen: Methodische Anmerkungen," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 69, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
  10. Oliver Budzinski, 2008. "A Note on Competing Merger Simulation Models in Antitrust Cases: Can the Best Be Identified?," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200803, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  11. Oliver Budzinski, 2010. "An Institutional Analysis of the Enforcement Problems in Merger Control," Working Papers 101/10, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Environmental and Business Economics.

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