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Monoculture versus diversity in competition economics

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  • Oliver Budzinski

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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  • Oliver Budzinski, 2008. "Monoculture versus diversity in competition economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 295-324, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:32:y:2008:i:2:p:295-324
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cje/bem031
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    Cited by:

    1. Oliver Budzinski, 2009. "Modern Industrial Economics and Competition Policy: Open Problems and Possible Limits," Working Papers 93/09, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics.
    2. Oliver Budzinski & Isabel Ruhmer, 2010. "Merger Simulation In Competition Policy: A Survey," Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 277-319.
    3. Bougette, Patrice & Budzinski, Oliver & Marty, Frédéric, 2017. "Exploitative abuse and abuse of economic dependence: What can we learn from the industrial organization approach?," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 111, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    4. 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.
    5. repec:kap:ejlwec:v:44:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10657-014-9459-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Budzinski, Oliver, 2014. "Lead jurisdiction concepts: Towards rationalizing multiple competition policy enforcement procedures," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 87, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    7. 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).
    8. Budzinski Oliver & Köhler Karoline Henrike, 2015. "Is Amazon The Next Google?," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 66(1), pages 263-288, January.
    9. Thatcher, Mark, 2014. "European Commission merger control: combining competition and the creation of larger European firms," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 54743, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. Oliver Budzinski & Jürgen-Peter Kretschmer, 2009. "Horizontal Mergers, Involuntary Unemployment, and Welfare," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200907, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    11. Oliver Budzinski, 2009. "An international multilevel competition policy system," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 367-389, December.
    12. 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).
    13. Budzinski, Oliver & Eckert, Sandra, 2015. "Wettbewerb und Regulierung," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 93, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    14. Willem H. Boshoff, 2013. "Why define markets in competition cases?," Working Papers 10/2013, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    15. Schmidt André, 2008. "Ordnungsökonomische Wettbewerbskonzepte: Die Wettbewerbspolitik im Spannungsfeld zwischen Freiheit und Effizienz / Order Economic Concepts of Competition: Competition Policy between Economic Freedom a," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 59(1), pages 209-236, January.
    16. Oliver Budzinski, 2010. "An Institutional Analysis of the Enforcement Problems in Merger Control," Working Papers 101/10, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics.
    17. 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.
    18. Budzinski, Oliver, 2012. "International antitrust institutions," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 72, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    19. Budzinski, Oliver, 2012. "Empirische Ex-Post Evaluation von wettbewerbspolitischen Entscheidungen: Methodische Anmerkungen," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 69, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    20. Dzmitry Bartalevich, 2016. "The Influence of the Chicago School on the Commission's Guidelines, Notices and Block Exemption Regulations in EU Competition Policy," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 267-283, March.
    21. Christiansen Arndt, 2013. "Recht, Ordnung und Wettbewerb: Besprechung der gleichnamigen Festschrift zum 70. Geburtstag von Wernhard Möschel," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 64(1), pages 500-508, January.
    22. Christiansen Arndt, 2011. "Entscheidungen zum Europäischen Kartellrecht: Zu der gleichnamigen von Jörg Karenfort und Andreas Weitbrecht herausgegebenen Entscheidungssammlung," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 62(1), pages 566-573, January.
    23. Andrew Mearman, 2008. "Pluralism and Heterodoxy: Introduction to the Special Issue," The Journal of Philosophical Economics, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, The Journal of Philosophical Economics, vol. 1(2), pages 5-25, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General
    • B50 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - General
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law

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