The Junior Research Group “Competition and Innovation” addresses questions in competition economics and policy, in particular at the interface to innovation economics. The overarching theme is the analysis and optimal design of competition rules to improve the functioning of both goods and services markets as well as technology markets, and thus improving the well-being of society as a whole. In combination with innovation-friendly policy and the legal protection of intangible assets, optimal competition policy provides incentives for the development of new ideas and technologies without hampering competition by disproportionately restricting access for third parties. To this end, the Junior Research Group studies the incentive effects that law and law enforcement have on the strategic behaviour of companies and use these insights to evaluate competition policy institutions and rules from an innovation economics and innovation policy perspective.
The group uses a broad range of economic tools and applies both theoretical and empirical methods. It provides economic policy advice based on sound scientific evidence and contributes evidence-based and theoretically sound findings to the debate on competition policy. At the same time, their scientific research is driven by questions and problems that have strong practical relevance. In this sense, the Junior Research Group works at the interface between research and policy advice, while being in dialogue with both the scientific community and economic policymakers – a fact that is also reflected in the group’s publication activities. The group’s researchers have published in top-class scientific journals such as the RAND Journal of Economics, the Journal of Industrial Economics, Industrial and Corporate Change, and the Journal of Law and Economics, as well as in practice-oriented journals such as Antitrust Bulletin and Information Economics and Policy.
The Junior Research Group “Competition and Innovation” is the central point of contact for competition issues at ZEW, while also sharing its expertise with other research units in the context of interdisciplinary projects and studies. The Mannheim Centre for Competition and Innovation (MaCCI), jointly run by the University of Mannheim’s School of Law and Economics and ZEW, plays a particularly important role.
This project investigates the effects of financial interdependencies of firms on corporate strategies in the product and technology market. One of the key aims of the project is to analyse how minority holdings affect firms’ price and non-price strategies, and how such ownership structures change market outcomes through their effects on price markups and innovation. The project is funded by the international research programme “Strengthening Efficiency and Competitiveness in the European Knowledge Economies” (SEEK) at ZEW.
As part of a study on behalf of the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development, the group investigates the causes and effects of the increasing fragmentation of the German construction industry using empirical research methods. An additional objective of the study is to determine whether this development will continue or even intensify.
In a research project in cooperation with the Research Department “Environmental and Resource Economics, Environmental Management”, the group investigates the price elasticity of electricity demand in Switzerland. Special focus is put on the price elasticities for households, industry and services, which are used to simulate and evaluate demand responses to specific energy policies.
The M&A Report is a biannual publication issued by Bureau van Dijk and ZEW. It uses the Zephyr database to report on current topics and developments in global mergers and acquisitions.