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Optimal market design

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  • Jan Boone
  • Jacob K. Goeree

Abstract

This paper introduces three methodological advances to study the optimal design of static and dynamic markets. First, we apply a mechanism design approach to characterize all incentive-compatible market equilibria. Second, we conduct a normative analysis, i.e. we evaluate alternative competition and innovation policies from a welfare perspective. Third, we introduce a reliable way to measure competition in dynamic markets with non- linear pricing. We illustrate the usefulness of our approach in several ways. We reproduce the empirical finding that innovation levels are higher in markets with lower price-cost margins, yet such markets are not necessarily more competitive. Indeed, we prove the Schumpeterian conjecture that more dynamic markets characterized by higher levels of innovation should be less competitive. Furthermore, we demonstrate how our approach can be used to determine the optimal combination of market regulation and innovation policies such as R&D subsidies or a weakening of the patent system. Finally, we show that optimal markets are characterized by strictly positive price-cost margins.

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Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 479.

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Date of creation: Feb 2010
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Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:479

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  1. David S. Evans & Richard Schmalensee, 2001. "Some Economic Aspects of Antitrust Analysis in Dynamically Competitive Industries," NBER Working Papers 8268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, December.
  3. Jan Boone, 2008. "A New Way to Measure Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(531), pages 1245-1261, 08.
  4. Armin Schmutzler, 2007. "The relation between competition and innovation – Why is it such a mess?," SOI - Working Papers 0716, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Jan 2010.
  5. Gilbert, Richard & Tom, Willard K, 2001. "Is Innovation King at the Antitrust Agencies? The Intellectual Property Guidelines Five Years Later," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4mf5t2bm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  6. Jose E. Galdon-Sanchez & James A. Schmitz, Jr., 2003. "Competitive pressure and labor productivity: world iron ore markets in the 1980s," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 9-23.
  7. Boone, Jan, 2000. "Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 2636, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. George Symeonidis, 2002. "The Effects of Competition: Cartel Policy and the Evolution of Strategy and Structure in British Industry," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262194686, December.
  9. Howitt, Peter & Griffith, Rachel & Aghion, Philippe & Blundell, Richard & Bloom, Nick, 2005. "Competition and Innovation: An Inverted-U Relationship," Scholarly Articles 4481507, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Ilya Segal & Michael D. Whinston, 2007. "Antitrust in Innovative Industries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1703-1730, December.
  11. Vives, Xavier, 2004. "Innovation and Competitive Pressure," CEPR Discussion Papers 4369, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Stephen Nickell, 1993. "Competition and Corporate Performance," CEP Discussion Papers dp0182, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  13. Andrea Bassanini & Ekkehard Ernst, 2002. "Labour Market Institutions, Product Market Regulation, and Innovation: Cross-Country Evidence," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 316, OECD Publishing.
  14. Hahn, Robert W., 2001. "A Primer on Competition Policy and the New Economy," Working paper 266, Regulation2point0.
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