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 2021/2022

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.

Readings/Bibliography

Textbooks

  • 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).

 

The teaching material (slides and case studies) can be downloaded by clicking on "Teaching resources on Virtuale" or directly from the "Virtuale" website (https://virtuale.unibo.it).

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

 

Optional readings

  • Fattori P. and M. Todino, "La disciplina della concorrenza in Italia", Il Mulino, 2015.
  • Prosperetti L., M. Siragusa, M. Beretta and M. Merini, "Economia e diritto antitrust. Un'introduzione", Carocci Editore, 2013.
  • 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 written exam is composed of "open-answer questions" on the topics taught during the course and lasts one hour. The questions aim to verify the knowledge and understanding of the theories taught during the course and their application to case studies.

The exam is currently carried out both in person (face to face) and online (via Zoom). The former option is conditional on possible pandemic restrictions, while the latter will be available as long as the University guarantees this option.

Students must select two questions out of the four proposed and answer to all the corresponding sub-points. The answer to each question is worth 30 points, and the final mark is computed as the simple average of the two marks obtained for each question. An example of an exam will be illustrated during the course.

To pass the exam, students must obtain a sufficient grade (18/30) for both questions. The final mark is expressed out of 30 points according to the following graduation:

  • <18, fail;
  • 18-23, sufficient;
  • 24-27, good;
  • 28-30, very good;
  • 30 with laude, excellent.

A positive final mark can only be refused once. Refusal of the grade has to be communicated via email within the day of the subsequent office hours of the instructor.

It is not possible to bring books, personal notes, or electronic devices to the exam. Registration for the exam is compulsory, and students have to register through AlmaEsami [https://almaesami.unibo.it/almaesami/welcome.htm] according to the general rules of the School of Economics and Management.

Teaching tools

Teaching material (slides and discussion of case studies).

The slides can be downloaded by clicking on "Teaching resources on Virtuale" or directly from the "Virtuale" website (https://virtuale.unibo.it).

Office hours

See the website of Maurizio Mussoni