Project area B

B: Product market regulation

Project area B focuses on new challenges in the design and regulation of markets. The deregulation and internationalization of markets and the development of new technologies, notably the internet, have radically changed the conditions under which economic transactions take place and, in particular, have given rise to new forms of economic exchange. Important activities now routinely take place in two-sided markets where platforms play a key role as intermediaries between the two sides, often buyers and sellers. The network externalities that distinguish platform markets from traditional markets raise new questions as to how markets should be regulated, in particular with respect to merger control and antitrust, and how much and in which form consumers should be protected by regulatory intervention. The mobile internet, in particular, and the advances of information technology, more generally, have also changed the informational environment in which economic transactions take place. Search and price comparison sites, as well as social media, have facilitated product comparisons and the acquisition and sharing of product information. In order to understand the efficiency properties of informationally sensitive markets, and to devise appropriate regulatory measures, project area B analyzes both the information providers’ strategic incentives to disclosure information and users’ search and information acquisition behavior.

B01: Information aggregation and the role of transfers in mechanism design

The project addresses fundamental aspects of mechanism design and covers applications in a broad range of areas.

B02: Strategic information disclosure

The focus of this project lies on determining the economic forces that shape the strategic disclosure of information and, in particular, its dynamics.

B03: Consumer protection and competition policy

The project investigates the performance and design of regulatory policies aimed at improving consumer welfare and market efficiency. 

B04: Decentralized markets

The project investigates the functioning of decentralized markets both theoretically and empirically, with online markets as a central application.

B05: Platform markets

The goal of this project is analyze how platform business models, limited information, and learning by participants and platforms affect market outcomes and social welfare.

B06: Trade policy and market structure

The design and impacts of trade policy in the context of firm heterogeneity are at the heart of this project.

B07: Policies for Sustainability

The project evaluates the effectiveness and efficiency of a broad range of policies aimed at fostering sustainable behavior by firms and households.

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