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Markets, Institutions, & Regulation

Submitted by jrreid on Mon, 2020-04-02 16:15.

The "invisible hand" insight of Adam Smith is that when individuals seek only to maximize their own welfare, an efficient outcome will be obtained, one where it is not possible to make one person better off without making someone else worse off. However, this central principle of economics holds only when markets are complete and when they are competitive. These conditions often do not hold and instead we observe incomplete or missing markets, and a few sellers, perhaps even just one, with market power. The research organized under the heading of this research theme will explore the institutional and public policy implications of markets characterized by these imperfections, especially the problems created by market power. Concerns over market power provide the intellectual foundations for competition policy, regulation of public utilities, and intellectual property rights. Those contributing to this research theme will include researchers in the Faculty of Law, the Department of Economics, the Haskayne School of Business, and the Schulich School of Engineering.

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