The search for better indicators and measures of competition

PhD Project Outline

One of the most fundamental questions in Industrial Organisation, and therefore Competition Economics and Policy, is “what is competition, and how should we measure it?”

This question is central to an emerging international debate about whether the forces of competition are weakening in the USA and elsewhere in the developed world. At the heart of the debate are two (contested) stylized facts: industrial concentration has persistently increased across the board, as have mark-ups. Some have claimed causality between the two, and one of the policy implications is that merger enforcement should be strengthened, along with other measures to instigate more competition interventions. Yet it has been recognized for over half a century that high concentration and mark-ups may be a sign of greater efficiency, rather than market power. This project will focus ondeveloping theory and empirical tests based on the notion that competition is a dynamic concept, and measures need to reflect this. We wish to suggest and evaluate the effectiveness of new measures of competition.

Research Team: You would be working with Dr. Franco Mariuzzo and Professor Davies (and possibly with other economists in the school and CCP.)

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