The economics of climate change: a signal in the noise?

With many countries around the world signing up to targets of net zero carbon emissions, what is the role of economics in the climate change debate? Economics can help to support the pathway to decarbonisation in four key areas, but it is important to communicate economic recommendations effectively to all stakeholders

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Investment appraisal in the round: why MCA?

Multi-criteria analysis (‘MCA’) is a set of methods, techniques and tools that considers multiple objectives and criteria to support decision-making. It takes a broader perspective than cost–benefit analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis, which stress monetary considerations. MCA is set to play a greater role in investment appraisal as increasing emphasis is placed on having clear strategic links to policies, ‘levelling up’, and stewardship of the environment. Oxera Senior Adviser, Dr Rupert Booth, here considers the motivations for the use of MCA and some of its many techniques

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Data-enabled learning: policy implications

Despite superficial similarities, data-enabled learning does not necessarily create network effects, and when it does, data network effects are usually weaker and less conducive to lock-in than standard network effects. In this article, Andrei Hagiu, Associate Professor of Information Systems at Boston University, and Julian Wright, Oxera Associate and Professor of Economics at the National University of Singapore, consider how policies that aim to correct market inefficiencies associated with data-enabled learning (such as mandatory data-sharing by incumbents or data privacy restrictions) have unintended consequences that may end up hurting customers overall

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Collective bargaining agreements for the self-employed

The growth of self-employment and the so-called ‘gig economy’ enabled by the rise of digital platforms (and digitalisation more broadly) offers new opportunities for those who prefer flexible working arrangements, while at the same time creating challenges—such as decreased...

The role of sustainability in merger control

The recent focus on sustainability in the context of coordination agreements and in state aid cases1 has now spread to merger control.2 This Today’s Agenda article addresses how sustainability fits into the merger assessment framework and what we can...

Is knowledge power? Data-enabled learning and competitive advantage

New technologies make data-enabled learning much more powerful than the customer insights produced by such techniques in the past. They do not, however, guarantee long-lasting barriers that prevent entry by rivals. In this article, Andrei Hagiu, Associate Professor of Information Systems at Boston University, and Julian Wright, Oxera Associate and Professor of Economics at the National University of Singapore, discuss seven factors that determine whether data-enabled learning creates a sustainable competitive advantage

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A tale of two cities: the rise and fall of listings

The decline in European public equity markets has sparked concern from policymakers about how to revive listings. Behind this overall declining trend, there is a notable variation between financial centres. The contrasting experiences of Sweden and the UK highlight how more flexibility in some aspects of the listing rules and corporate governance might encourage more listings

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Crisis cartels: a COVID-19 side effect?

Over the years, crises have had a global impact on consumers and companies. The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception, with a number of companies being forced to close their doors for a prolonged period. National governments and competition authorities have shown increased willingness to allow companies to collaborate in order to combat the crisis. But what does economic theory suggest about the current COVID-19 crisis and its effect on the number of active cartels?

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A new era for collective actions in the UK

The long-awaited UK Supreme Court judgment in Mastercard v Merricks 1 (‘the Judgment’) was handed down last Friday morning. The Judgment allows a £14bn opt-out collective proceeding to proceed. The application for a collective proceeding, launched by Walter Hugh...
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