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Event Description

The Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Economics will host a two-day conference to bring together scholars working in areas related to the FTC’s antitrust, consumer protection, and public policy missions. Those fields include industrial organization, quantitative marketing, information economics, health policy, and behavioral economics. Examples of potentially relevant topics include healthcare provider competition, vertical contracting, advertising, merger policy, innovation, privacy, intellectual property, nonlinear contracting, bargaining, collusion, e-commerce, demand estimation, pharmaceutical markets, appropriate statistical standards for inference, and consumer decision-making.

The conference program will run from Thursday, November 1 to Friday, November 2. Onsite registration opens at 8:30 a.m.

The scientific committee for the conference is:

  • David Besanko (Northwestern University, Kellogg)
  • Ali Hortasçu (University of Chicago)
  • Katja Seim (University of Pennsylvania, Wharton)

Organizers: Ted Rosenbaum (FTC) and Nathan Wilson (FTC)

Staff Contact: Alex Avramov (202-326-3003)


This conference is sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Economics and Searle Center on Law, Regulation and Economic Growth at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. The FTC conference organizers are Ted Rosenbaum and Nathan Wilson.


  • Thursday, November 1

    8:30 a.m. 


    9:00 a.m. 


    Mike Vita (Federal Trade Commission)

    9:15 a.m.

    Paper Session

    Chaired by David Besanko (Northwestern University, Kellogg)

    Gaurab Aryal (University of Virginia) with Federico Ciliberto (University of Virginia), and Benjamin T. Leyden (Cornell University), Public Communication and Collusion in the Airline Industry

    Discussant: Gloria Sheu (U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division)

    Shota Ichihashi (Bank of Canada), Online Privacy and Information Disclosure by Consumers

    Discussant: Guy Arie (University of Rochester, Simon)

    10:45 a.m. 


    11:20 a.m.

    Keynote Address, “How Efficient is Dynamic Competition? The Case of Price as Investment.”

    David Besanko (Northwestern University, Kellogg)

    12:00 p.m.


    Sponsored by the Searle Center on Law, Regulation and Economic Growth

    12:30 p.m. 

    Paper Session

    Chaired by Nathan Wilson and Ted Rosenbaum (FTC)

    Jose Miguel Abito (University of Pennsylvania, Wharton) with Yuval Salant (Northwestern University, Kellogg), The Effect of Product Misperception on Economic Outcomes: Evidence from the Extended Warranty Market

    Discussant: Ginger Jin (University of Maryland)

    Andrey Fradkin (Boston University) with Chiara Farronato (Harvard University), Bradley J. Larsen (Stanford University), and Erik Brynjolfsson (MIT Sloan), Consumer Protection in an Online World: When Does Occupational Licensing Matter?

    Discussant: Judith A. Chevalier (Yale University)

    2:00 p.m.


    2:30 p.m. 

    Paper Session

    Chaired by Ali Hortaçsu (University of Chicago)

    Matthew Grennan (University of Pennsylvania, Wharton) with Ashley Swanson (University of Pennsylvania, Wharton), Diagnosing Price Dispersion

    Discussant: Tobias Salz (Columbia University)

    Gastόn Illanes (Northwestern University) with Manisha Padi (University of Chicago, School of Law), Competition, Asymmetric Information, and the Annuity Puzzle: Evidence from a Government-run Exchange in Chile

    Discussant: Jean-François Houde (University of Wisconsin)

    4:00 p.m. 


    4:30 p.m.

    Keynote Address, “Search, Asymmetric Information, and Competition”

    Ali Hortaçsu (University of Chicago)

    5:10 p.m.  

    Hors d’oeuvres Reception

    Sponsored by the Searle Center on Law, Regulation and Economic Growth

    Friday, November 2


    9:00 a.m. 

    Paper Session

    Chaired by Katja Seim (University of Pennsylvania, Wharton)

    Ryan C. McDevitt (Duke University, Fuqua) with Paul J. Eliason (Duke University), Benjamin Heebsh (Duke University), and James W. Roberts (Duke University), How Acquisitions Affect Firm Behavior and Performance: Evidence from the Dialysis Industry

    Discussant: Nathan Wilson (FTC)

    Pietro Tebaldi (University of Chicago) with Alexander Torgovitsky (University of Chicago), and Hanbin Yang (University of Chicago), Nonparametric Estimates of Demand in the California Health Insurance Exchange

    Discussant: Kate Ho (Princeton University)

    10:30 a.m. 


    11:00 a.m. 

    Keynote Address, “Ownership Concentration and Strategic Supply Reduction”

    Katja Seim (University of Pennsylvania, Wharton)

    11:40 a.m.

    Panel: Estimating Markups

    Chaired by Devesh Raval (FTC)

    • Allan Collard-Wexler (Duke University)
    • Matthew Grennan (University of Pennsylvania, Wharton)
    • John Haltiwanger (University of Maryland)
    • Ariel Pakes (Harvard University)


    12:40 p.m. 


FTC Privacy Policy

Under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) or other laws, we may be required to disclose to outside organizations the information you provide when you pre-register. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments, whether filed in paper or electronic form, and as a matter of discretion, we make every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments before posting them on the FTC website.

The FTC Act and other laws we administer permit the collection of your pre-registration contact information and the comments you file to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate.  Under the Freedom of Information Act or other laws, we may be required to disclose to outside organizations the information you provide when you pre-register.  For additional information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see the Commission’s Privacy Act system for public records and comprehensive privacy policy.

This event will be open to the public and may be photographed, videotaped, webcast, or otherwise recorded.  By participating in this event, you are agreeing that your image — and anything you say or submit — may be posted indefinitely at or on one of the Commission's publicly available social media sites.