When less is more: reducing regulatory judgement

The need for judgement is a key feature of many regulatory regimes; if a significant amount is required, this can increase regulatory risk, and therefore also the financing costs to the companies concerned. We examine how regulatory judgement can be reduced in one aspect of RPI – X regulation—the efficiency assessment—and investigate how better decisions can be made with less information, reducing both the regulatory burden and the requirement for maintaining independent comparators in an industry.

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Behavioural economics in the European Commission: past, present and future

At the European level, behavioural economics is increasingly being integrated into consumer and competition policy, in areas ranging from the terms of consumer contracts to the design of remedies in competition cases. Emanuele Ciriolo, economist in charge of behavioural economics in the European Commission Directorate General for Health and Consumers, discusses this topic and presents some new findings from the Commission’s first behavioural study on biases in consumer decision-making in retail investment services.

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Restricting competition: land agreements at shopping centres and airports

Competition is good; monopoly is bad. Does this received wisdom hold for retail outlets at shopping centres and airports? The unique circumstances of these shopping venues mean that agreements that lessen competition—such as restrictive covenants in some land agreements—might nevertheless be economically beneficial, and should not necessarily be considered anti-competitive.

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Being patient: what delays access to new drugs in Europe?

On average, the first citizen to access a new drug in Belgium will wait 13 months longer for it than someone prescribed the same drug in Germany or the UK, despite an EU-wide licensing process. This suggests that country-specific drug regulation—the ‘fourth hurdle’ faced by drug manufacturers—may go a long way to explaining launch delay across Europe.

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