Economics Director Michael Salinger to Leave FTC

Michael R. Baye Named New Director of the Bureau of Economics

For Release

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras today announced that Michael A. Salinger, director of the Bureau of Economics for the past two years, will leave the FTC to return to the Boston University School of Management, where he is a Professor of Economics. The Chairman also announced that Michael R. Baye, the Bert Elwert Professor of Business in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, has been named to succeed him. The Director supervises economic analysis at the Commission and advises the Commission on economic policy matters.

“I am grateful to Michael for his outstanding work at the FTC, his excellent service, and his outstanding achievements. We have benefitted greatly from his expertise and his insight, which have helped further the important message that free markets and unfettered competition work for consumers,” Chairman Majoras said. “We are fortunate that Michael Baye will take over as Bureau Director, and I am confident that he will continue this tradition of excellence and provide valuable assistance to the Commission in fulfilling its competition and consumer protection mission.”

Salinger, who has served as Chairman of the Department of Finance and Economics at the Boston University School of Management and recently was named a W. Everett Lord Distinguished Faculty Scholar, joined the school in 1990. He previously was an associate professor at Columbia University Business School, and a staff economist in the FTC’s Bureau of Economics. Salinger has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Industrial Economics and the Review of Industrial Organization, and he has been a consultant for the FTC, the
Environmental Protection Agency, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and private clients. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an undergraduate degree from Yale University.

While at the FTC, Salinger promoted effective interaction of the Bureau of Economics with the Bureaus of Competition and Consumer Protection, ensuring that the Bureau’s analysis in support of the FTC’s missions was analytically sound and effectively communicated. He was also the public face of the Bureau, communicating its work and the Commission’s through speeches, writings, and personal outreach to lawyers, economists, the general public, foreign antitrust authorities, other government agencies, and Congress. During Salinger’s tenure, the Bureau produced pathbreaking studies on such topics as food advertising to children and the transparency of housing loan disclosures, and it sponsored conferences on topics such as Internet auctions, behavioral economics, and the history of grocery store merger review. He played a particularly important role in the Bureau’s analysis of petroleum markets and in the Commission’s study of authorized generics in the pharmaceutical industry.

Baye has served as the Bert Elwert Professor of Business in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University since 1997. He previously held academic positions at Penn State University, Texas A&M University, and the University of Kentucky, and visiting appointments at Cambridge and Oxford universities in England, Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and the New Economic School in Moscow, Russia.

Baye’s research focuses mainly on pricing strategies and their impact on consumer welfare and firm profits. His recent work applies tools from game theory and industrial organization to derive equilibrium strategies in network industries, mergers, auctions, and contests. Much of this research concerns pricing strategies in oligopoly environments where consumers view the products sold by different firms to be close substitutes. Baye's pricing research shows, among other things, that optimal pricing strategies by firms and information “gatekeepers” in conventional and online markets can lead to equilibrium price dispersion when firms have identical costs, shoppers are well-informed, and products are perceived to be identical. Many of these strategies are discussed in Baye’s managerial economics textbook and taught to business students around the world.

Baye’s research on mergers, auctions, and contests has been published in such journals as the American Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies, and the Economic Journal. His research on pricing strategies in online and other environments where consumers search for price information has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Fulbright Commission, and other organizations, published in leading economics and marketing journals such as the American Economic Review, Econometrica, and the Journal of Political Economy, and featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and The New York Times.

Baye has served as an editor of Advances in Applied Microeconomics, an associate editor of Journal of Economics & Governance, and he has served on the editorial boards of Economic Theory and the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management, a master’s degree from Purdue University, and an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University.

The Bureau of Economics assists the Commission in evaluating the economic impact of its antitrust and consumer protection actions. The Bureau’s analytical work provides economic advice for enforcement actions, working closely with the bureaus of Competition and Consumer Protection; studies the effects of legislative options and regulations as part of the advocacy program coordinated by the Office of Policy Planning; and analyzes market issues to create economic reports and recommendations on various markets and industries.

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