Oxera

Inspiring better decisions through economics and finance

Articles
Depiction of Decarbon-nudge?
9 minute read

Decarbon-nudge?

Decarbonisation is one of the largest challenges facing societies across the world, and consumer behaviour has an important role to play in achieving this goal. Behavioural economics shows us that consumer behaviour can be influenced by ‘nudges’ and choice architecture. So what role can nudges play in helping us to decarbonise? Read More

Articles
Depiction of Malbeconomics: taking stock of the 20th anniversary of the 9.99 price point
6 minute read

Malbeconomics: taking stock of the 20th anniversary of the 9.99 price point

Developed economies are facing significant amounts of inflation for the first time in 25 years. Consumer prices, measured according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose by 5.8% on average across OECD countries in the year to November 2021. Will Page, former Chief Economist at Spotify and author of Tarzan Economics, celebrates the 20th anniversary of the 9.99 price point and looks at the role that price points play in an inflationary environment. Read More

Articles
Depiction of Conglomerate mergers: are theory and practice aligned?
14 minute read

Conglomerate mergers: are theory and practice aligned?

Recent European Commission merger control practice suggests a renewed willingness to scrutinise conglomerate mergers. This is in stark contrast to the Commission’s past practice and to the US approach. In this article, we detail exactly how conglomerate mergers generate customer benefits, but also—under certain circumstances—how they may end up harming competition and consumers. We apply theory to practice by discussing the recent NVIDIA/Mellanox merger, and explore which novel theories the Commission may pursue in the future. Read More

Articles
Depiction of Hidden talent: the economic benefits of social mobility
2 minute read

Hidden talent: the economic benefits of social mobility

Social mobility is widely considered to be intrinsically good: decoupling an individual’s prospects from their social status or family background is a key pillar of fairness and social justice. This perspective has filled philosophy textbooks and opinion columns, but what is less well understood is the role that social mobility plays in boosting productivity and economic output. Read More

Articles
Depiction of Tactical innovation or own goal? The proposals for an independent football regulator
10 minute read

Tactical innovation or own goal? The proposals for an independent football regulator

The UK government is currently considering proposals to introduce an independent football regulator to oversee club ownership and finances. This is a radical proposal that could have substantial implications for how football is governed in England and in other European countries, and potentially also for the governance of other sports. Drawing on Oxera’s 40 years of experience in economic regulation, this article considers the rationale for regulation and some of the potential challenges that a regulator might face. Read More

Articles
Depiction of Causality and natural experiments: the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences
8 minute read

Causality and natural experiments: the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2021 to three economists—Joshua Angrist, David Card, and Guido Imbens. Their contributions to the economics literature shaped economists’ understanding of when causal relationships can be established, especially using non-experimental data, and what kinds of methods and assumptions allow us to uncover the true causal effect of one variable on another. Today, businesses, courts and policymakers rely on causal empirical evidence to make their decisions. Read More

Articles
Depiction of Bits of advice: the true colours of dark patterns
13 minute read

Bits of advice: the true colours of dark patterns

Dark patterns are deceptive online interface designs that are used to trick people into making decisions that are in the interests of the online business, but at the expense of the user. In this second article of our ‘bits of advice’ series on digital regulation, we dive into the economics behind dark patterns: what are they; what can economics teach us about how they work; how is digitalisation changing their costs and benefits in the eyes of businesses; and how can competition and consumer protection authorities respond? Read More

Articles
Depiction of Third country, second thoughts? The EU’s foreign subsidies regulation
10 minute read

Third country, second thoughts? The EU’s foreign subsidies regulation

The European Parliament and the Council are currently debating the European Commission’s proposed regulation on foreign subsidies, which covers subsidies granted by third countries that have the potential to distort competition in the EU. In particular, the proposed regulation targets large M&A deals and public procurement procedures involving financial… Read More

Articles
Depiction of High time for hydrogen: establishing a hydrogen value chain in Europe (part 2)
9 minute read

High time for hydrogen: establishing a hydrogen value chain in Europe (part 2)

Across Europe and around the world, hydrogen is gaining traction as a low-carbon energy source with new use cases. In this two-part series, we provide an overview of key strategic developments for hydrogen in the EU and the UK. Our first article introduced the hydrogen value chain and associated upstream issues (i.e. production). Here, we focus on the midstream (i.e. storage and transportation) and downstream (i.e. usage) elements of the value chain. Read More

Articles
Depiction of Economics of Climate Change—how economics can enable the transition to net zero
7 minute read

Economics of Climate Change—how economics can enable the transition to net zero

to finance, slow policy and regulatory coordination, and insufficient adoption of decarbonisation solutions by businesses and consumers. In this article, we reflect on the session chaired by Oxera on the Economics of Climate Change at COP26 on one of the World Leader’s Summit days, to explore how economics can help to remove these barriers, as well as helping to make any net zero transition a fair one. Read More

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