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Optimal market design

  • Boone, Jan
  • Goeree, Jacob K.

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 C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7736.

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Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7736
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  1. Boone, J., 2000. "Competition," Discussion Paper 2000-104, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. 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.
  3. Jan Boone, 2008. "A New Way to Measure Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(531), pages 1245-1261, 08.
  4. José E. Galdón-Sánchez & James A. Schmitz Jr., 2002. "Competitive Pressure and Labor Productivity: World Iron-Ore Markets in the 1980's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1222-1235, September.
  5. Philippe Aghion & Nicholas Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2002. "Competition and innovation: an inverted U relationship," IFS Working Papers W02/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Schmutzler, Armin, 2010. "The relation between competition and innovation -- Why is it such a mess?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7640, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Richard J. Gilbert and Willard K. Tom, 2001. "Is Innovation King at the Antitrust Agencies?: The Intellectual Property Guidelines Five Years Later," Economics Working Papers EC01-301, University of California at Berkeley.
  8. 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, June.
  9. Nickell, S.J., 1993. "Competition and Crporate Performance," Economics Series Working Papers 99155, University of Oxford, 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. Andrea Bassanini & Ekkehard Ernst, 2002. "Labour Market Institutions, Product Market Regulation, and Innovation: Cross-Country Evidence," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 316, OECD Publishing.
  12. Vives, Xavier, 2004. "Innovation and Competitive Pressure," CEPR Discussion Papers 4369, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. 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, June.
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