Tag: Bureau of Economics

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This paper considers the effects of refinery outages (due to planned turn-arounds or unplanned events) on current petroleum product prices and future refinery investment. Empirical evidence on these relationships is mixed and highly dependent on the size and duration of the outage,...
Increased competition from the Internet has raised a concern of product quality for online prescription drugs. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibits the importation of unapproved drugs into the US and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) emphasizes their...
Efforts to understand the relationship between market structure and the quality of health services are complicated by the non-random character of patients' choices of where to receive care. To address this problem, I construct an empirical model of health outcomes for dialysis...
A summary report on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) conference “Behavioral Economics and Consumer Policy Conference,” held on April 20, 2007 in Washington, DC. Sponsored by the Bureau of Economics, the conference brought together leading researchers from various fields to present...
Economists at the Federal Trade Commission pursue the agency’s competition and consumer protection missions. In this year’s essay, with respect to antitrust we discuss the analysis that is used in two areas where the Commission has recently been active: physician combinations and...
In May 2007 the Federal Trade Commission failed to win a preliminary injunction in U.S. District Court that would have blocked the merger of two refiners that served Albuquerque, NM and surrounding areas. This study compares estimates of the post-merger price effect to the price...
In recent decades, the prevalence of obesity in America has increased dramatically. Though it has attracted less attention, the demographic composition of the American population also changed during this period. We decompose the increase in the average body mass index of the American...
Generic drugs play an important role in disciplining drug prices and controlling rising drug costs. However, the effect that an additional generic drug competitor has on drug prices is difficult to measure because the number of firms competing in a market is endogenously determined....
This study reports the results of the Federal Trade Commission’s third statistical survey of fraud in the United States. The survey found that 10.8 percent of adults in the United States – an estimated 25.6 million people -- were victims of one or more of the frauds included in the...
An all-units discount is a price reduction applied to all units purchased if the customer's total purchases equal or exceed a given quantity threshold. Since the discount is paid on all units rather than marginal units, the tariff is discontinuous and exhibits a negative marginal...
A game of herding with capacity constraints is studied experimentally. Differences between Level-k strategies depend on the cost of choosing an alternative that has reached capacity, with a maximum difference between Level-1 and higher levels when the cost is high.  This design makes...
Over the last 25 years, for-profit facilities have supplanted non-profits as the modal providers of hemodialysis treatment to American sufferers of end-stage renal disease. To understand what may underpin this dramatic change in industry structure, this paper uses a dynamic...
Economists at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) pursue the agency’'s competition and consumer protection missions. In this year’'s essay, in antitrust, we discuss two recent mergers that involved Rx drugs: First, we describe key elements of the inquiry into the Express Scripts (ESI...
This study examines accuracy in consumer credit reports using a nationally representative sample of consumers with credit histories. Participants in the study examined their credit reports from the three national credit reporting agencies and identified potentially material errors....
This study estimates the price effects of horizontal mergers in the U.S. grocery retailing industry. We examine fourteen regions affected by mergers including both highly concentrated and relatively unconcentrated markets.
We analyze the effect of product quality on the output of a high-quality dominant firm facing a low-quality competitive fringe. Using a standard vertical differentiation model, we show that profit maximizing output decreases with product quality when the dominant firm's marginal cost...
An extensive literature shows that agency issues and transactions costs influence vertical integration. Another mature literature indicates that market structure influences competitive behavior. However, less consideration has been given to how vertical integration and market...
Analyses of organizational form's impact on economic behavior have been rarer than studies of the determinants of organizational form itself. To fill this gap, I develop a theoretical model tailored to the retail gasoline industry that endogenizes the choice of both organizational...
In many settings where spatial preemption might be expected to produce tightly concentrated industry structures, firms share the market instead. Using a strategic investment model, I show that this can be rationalized by heterogeneous brand preferences, which cause new product...

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