75936 - Economics of Competition and Regulation

Course Unit Page

SDGs

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Decent work and economic growth Partnerships for the goals

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

The course aims at analyzing the main advances in the theory of competition and antitrust regulation, under both a theoretical and an empirical point of view. A part of the course will be devoted to the regulation of natural monopolies, that is, the typical market structure for public utilities (such as electricity, natural gas distribution, water supply, telephony, etc.). The theoretical models will be integrated by an analysis of selected case studies. The course aims at building general and specific skills for the design, enforcement and evaluation of regulation and antitrust policies, and for the creation of new professional profiles with advanced skills for analyzing the economic and institutional mechanisms of markets and both private and public economic organizations.

Course contents

At the end of the course, the student knows how to analyzing and interpreting the regulation and antitrust policies. In particular, the student will be capable of:

  • understanding the regulation and antitrust policies by means of modern oligopoly theory;
  • analyzing and evaluating the antitrust policies, procedures and tests suggested by the economic analysis;
  • interpreting the antitrust case studies, in order to analyze the actual enforcement of antitrust regulation.

Detailed syllabus

  1. Competition policies: the birth of antitrust policies, their goals and laws.
  2. Review of microeconomics: market structures, market power and social welfare.
  3. Definition of the relevant market and measurement of market power. Indicators of concentration degree, antitrust behavior and entry barriers.
  4. Competition restraints. Collusion and horizontal restraints. Competition restraints vs. oligopoly: tacit and explicit collusion.
  5. Mergers between businesses: horizontal mergers.
  6. Vertical restraints and mergers.
  7. Abuse of dominant position. Market power and the notion of dominant firm. Predatory behavior, monopolization and other abusive practices.
  8. Analysis of selected antitrust case studies: USA, Europe, Italy.
  9. Game theory and oligopoly models.

Readings/Bibliography

  • Motta M. and M. Polo, "Antitrust. Economia e politica della concorrenza", Il Mulino, 2005.
  • Nicita A. and V. Scoppa, "Economia dei contratti", Carocci, 2010 (chapter 10).

Any additional material with respect to the main textbook will be communicated at the beginning of the course, and made available online within the course's teaching material.

 

Optional readings

  • Prosperetti L., M. Siragusa, M. Beretta and M. Merini, "Economia e diritto antitrust. Un'introduzione", Carocci Editore, 2013.
  • Fattori P. and M. Todino, "La disciplina della concorrenza in Italia", Il Mulino, 2015.
  • Amendola V. and P. L. Parcu, "L'Antitrust italiano", UTET, 2003.
  • Cervigni G. and M. D'Antoni, "Monopolio naturale, concorrenza e regolamentazione", Carocci, 2001.
  • Gobbo F., "Il mercato e la tutela della concorrenza", Il Mulino, 2001.
  • Petretto A., "Mercato, organizzazione industriale e intervento pubblico", Il Mulino, 1998.

Teaching methods

In-class lectures and discussion of case studies.

Assessment methods

The exam is carried out in written form (1 hour of time), and is structured in two open-answer questions to be chosen between four.

The written exam aims at verifying the understanding of the theories exposed in class and their application to case studies.

 

Teaching tools

Teaching material (slides and discussion of case studies).

Office hours

See the website of Maurizio Mussoni