Nine New Research Projects on Competition and Procurement

Press release

Competition in the health care sector, the waste management market, and whether the number of tenders in a public procurement process affects the price – these are just a few of the nine projects that received research grants from the Swedish Competition Authority in 2019.

This year, the Swedish Competition Authority is providing a total of 10.6 million SEK in contributions to various research projects in the fields of competition and public procurement.

“The ability to contribute to the development of new knowledge is important in order to establish an understanding of how markets work and how society and the economy evolve,” says Rikard Jermsten, Director General of the Swedish Competition Authority.

For example, among the research projects to receive funding is a study that will examine how price coordination can be detected, how common and costly this practice is, and how the number of companies affects the risk of coordination. The results are relevant for market surveillance and concentration decisions, as well as rules affecting the number of companies. The project will be led by Professor Niklas Rudholm at the Institute of Retail Economics.

Dr. David Isaksson of the Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences at Uppsala University will investigate how competitive the Swedish primary health care market is, and whether competition in Swedish primary health care can be considered to drive quality.

Another project will study concessions, which are becoming increasingly common. Associate Professor Tobias Indén of Umeå University will review the legal and procurement aspects of concessions.

One project aims to expand understanding of the relationship between cartels and corporate governance. This is essential for the design and implementation of effective market regulations. Within the context of this project, the following questions will be addressed: How does illegal cooperation in the product market affect the financial compensation of managers? How do such collaborations affect market competition through mergers and acquisitions? The Project Manager is Dr. Catarina Marvao of the Stockholm School of Economics.

Dr. Marcel Garz of Jönköping International Business School will study the manner in which media bias in the presentation of the news affects the owners of these media and their decisions. The background for the project is the recent emergence of radical and populist forces in many Western countries, which demonstrates how influential biased or incorrect information in the mass media can be.

Dr. Konstantinos Stylianou of the University of Leeds will conduct an empirical investigation of a wide range of legal sources in order to determine the objectives of the EU’s competition rules. The results may be used to discriminate between behaviours that promote the objectives (which should be allowed) and behaviours that impede the achievement of the objectives (which should be banned).

Funding will also be used to organise two conferences intended to disseminate knowledge about competition and procurement. One conference will address issues heavily linked to competitive neutrality and the ability of organisations to develop and acquire IT systems without causing lock-in and barriers to competition. The project is headed by Professor Björn Lundell of the University of Skövde.

Associate Professor Thomas P. Tangerås of the Research Institute of Industrial Economics has been awarded a grant to arrange a Nordic workshop for researchers on industrial organisation.  Industrial organisation is the research field that studies issues related to imperfect competition, acquisitions and competition policy.

Another research project is entitled ‘Competition for Rubbish - An Analysis of the Waste Incineration Market’. It will be headed by Dr. Thomas Broberg of the Umeå School of Business, Economics and Statistics. The project will analyse competition and price formation in the market for waste incineration. The focus will be on understanding the roles played by comparative advantage, geographical distance and public procurement.

“The various research projects to which we are now awarding grants will help foster greater insight and understanding of competition and public procurement in a variety of ways,” says Rikard Jermsten.

In addition to the nine new research projects, 11 ongoing projects will also receive grants.

For further Information, contact:
Jimmy Dominius, Press Officer, tel. +46 (0)76-542 15 80,
Joakim Wallenklint, Research Director, tel. +46 (0)8-700 16 03

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