Market structure and competition in digital markets

PhD Project Outline

Digital markets are often two- or multi-sided and online platforms are the main intermediaries. Strongnetwork effects but also economies of scale and scope produced by low (or zero) marginal costs and the use of data are drivers of concentration in these markets.

Our interest relies on the fact that the market structure in digital markets differs from that of traditional monopolistic or oligopolistic markets. Digital platforms typically put together sellers and buyers. The two- (or multi)-sidedness of online platforms brings in new reasons for platform market structure. In certain situations, the market structure of platform markets is the result of competition among sellers. Intense product/service competition between sellers can direct sellers towards different platforms to soften competition. The opposite is true if competition between sellers is soft. The behaviour by sellers has implications for the platform market structure. There are also other reasons.

This is an area that is currently under-researched. The objective of the research is to conduct an empirical analysis using various alternative methodologies and levels of analysis.

Research Team: You would be working with Dr. Franco Mariuzzo and Dr. Michael Kummer (and possibly other IO economists in the school.)

Person Specification

We are seeking a high-calibre candidate with a good MSc in Economics (2.1 and above or equivalent) or in related disciplines. The candidate should have an interest in interdisciplinary research and methods.

Application deadline: 15 March 2021

Start Date: October 2021

Mode of Study: Full-time or Part-time

Studentship length: 3 years

Minimum entry requirement: UK 2:1.

Applications are to be submitted electronically via our Postgraduate Apply page.

Funding Notes

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Industrial Economics Research Group at the School of Economics at UEA.

The School of Economics is an Athena Swan Award Holder and is committed to equality and diversity, and inclusion of students of any and all backgrounds.

UK and EU nationals, as well as international candidates are eligible for the stipend.

Applications must be supported by:

  • Official transcripts (in English) of your higher education qualifications.

  • A Personal Statement of 500 to 1,000 words

  • A CV detailing your work experience to date.

  • Two academic references.

  • Evidence of your English proficiency if English is not your first language

  • A Research Proposal.

Applications must be accompanied by a research proposal of 2000 words on the topic of this call. In some cases students who are funded or who expects funding from some government agencies apply for a ‘1 + 3': MSc followed by a MPhil/PhD; in these cases, at the time of applying for a ‘1 + 3' a short research proposal will suffice. Please email Dr Stephen Davies for more details on this project.

The School attaches great importance to providing a speedy response to applicants. To help us do this, please follow the procedure described in the application form and guidance notes and enclose all the material that it requests. No application will be considered until all the supporting documentation is received.

All applications are considered on their own merit by the Economics Postgraduate Selection Committee.


Download this PhD Project Outline