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Professional interpretation of the standard of proof: An experimental test on merger regulation

Author

Listed:
  • Bruce Lyons

    (University of East Anglia)

  • Gordon Douglas Menzies

    (University of Technology Sydney)

  • Daniel John Zizzo

    (University of East Anglia)

Abstract

There is considerable debate about the alternative economic approaches to merger control taken by competition authorities. However, differences in economic analysis are not the only reason for alternative decisions. We conduct an experiment in decision making in the context of merger appraisal, identifying the separate influences of different standards of proof, volumes of evidence, cost of error and professional training. The experiment was conducted on current practitioners from nine different jurisdictions, in addition to student subjects. We find that legal standards of proof significantly affect decisions, and identify specific differences due to professional judgment. We are further able to narrow the range of explanations for why professionalization matters.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce Lyons & Gordon Douglas Menzies & Daniel John Zizzo, 2009. "Professional interpretation of the standard of proof: An experimental test on merger regulation," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 09-16, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  • Handle: RePEc:uea:wcbess:09-16
    as

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    File URL: https://www.uea.ac.uk/documents/166500/14307614/CBESS-09-16.pdf/ac4c2491-6867-4e05-b74d-e92656bd09bc
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Menzies Gordon Douglas & Zizzo Daniel John, 2009. "Inferential Expectations," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-27, December.
    2. Rappoport, Peter, 1985. "Unfalsified Expectations: An Alternative Perspective on Modelling Expectations in Macroeconomics," Working Papers 85-16, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    3. Friedman,Daniel & Sunder,Shyam, 1994. "Experimental Methods," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521456821.
    4. Charness, Gary & Haruvy, Ernan & Sonsino, Doron, 2007. "Social distance and reciprocity: An Internet experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 88-103, May.
    5. Gordon Menzies & Daniel Zizzo, 2007. "Exchange Rate Markets And Conservative Inferential Expectations," CAMA Working Papers 2007-02, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    6. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    standard of proof; experiment; merger control;

    JEL classification:

    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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