viernes, 21 de mayo de 2010


  • Interesante estudio de Zingales y otros acerca de quiénes revelan los fraudes cometidos por las empresas. No son los auditores, ni las agencias públicas de vigilancia del mercado. Son, sobre todo, los empleados de las compañías, los analistas y los periodistas. Cuestión de costes de obtención de la información e incentivos para revelarlas. Parece que los incentivos monetarios (pagar al chivato, como se está sugiriendo en el caso de los cárteles) son efectivos y que también cuenta y mucho la facilidad en acceder a la información como consecuencia del trabajo que desarrolla el chivato.
  • Ahora que se discute el copago de los medicamentos, resulta que los estudios disponibles indican que puede que no se ahorre nada (porque aumenta el uso de hospitales y urgencias y de visitas al médico) y que reduzca el nivel de salud (porque la gente no termine los tratamientos).
  • Yglesias recensiona el último libro de Rajan: "He sees growing income inequality in the United States—particular the tendency of the top ten percent to pull away from the middle class—as a key driver here that compelled politicians to look on cheap credit as a way of maintaining middle class consumption even in the face of wage stagnation. A related key is America’s threadbare safety net which makes prolonged periods of elevated unemployment intolerable. Then on the other side, you have Germany, Japan, and China committed to export-led growth models with the first two in particular featuring powerful interest-group lobbies that prevent their non-tradable sectors from facing competition. It all added up to spending a decade after the dot-com boom with low policy rates from the Fed spurring unsustainable asset price booms, consumption levels, and trade flows".
  • El plan de Zingales y Posner para evitar ejecuciones hipotecarias ineficientes: "Each household that purchased or refinanced houses located in ZIP codes where house prices dropped more than a certain threshold (let’s say 20%) from their peak has the right to obtain a reduction in the mortgage to the current value of its house in exchange for a percentage (let’s initially say 50%) of the future appreciation of the house above the current level". Interesante la cuestión de los efectos sobre las posibilidades de renegociación del préstamo cuando el crédito garantizado por la hipoteca se cede por el prestamista a un tercero (se tituliza).
  • D h a r  a n d  H o c h (1997).  Marcas blancas: qué distribuidores las utilizan más: "Retailers operating in markets with lots of competitors have smaller market shares on average and must focus on stealing customers and defending their own turf. Retailers could use their store brand program to help in this effort, but more likely will leverage national brand resources to build store traffic. In contrast, with few competitors retailers have larger shares on average and plenty to gain by exploiting existing store traffic, an objective that private label is particularly well suited to achieve because of higher margins when a few chains dominate a market, the retailer can safely focus attention on the major players and not worry about the minor competitors. In the highly concentrated European food retailing scene, retailers use store brands to differentiate themselves from the few big competitors they face
  • De un artículo de 1969 (Y. BROZEN, "Competition, Efficiency and Antitrust") sobre las tareas de las autoridades de competencia: Sobre las limitaciones a la publicidad "Limitations on advertising (would make) more expensive to inform prospective customers that a firm new to a given marke is prepared to supply them. It would raise the cost of letting the world know that a better mouse trap has been built. It would force firms to invest more heavily in a dealer network or in a distribution system if they were limited in their advertising outlays, thus raising the long-run cost curves of prospective entrants. It would become more expensive to build volume quickly to a level which would achieve the major part of the available economies of scale. Efficiency would fall because firms would be forced to resort to the inefficient substitutes for advertising they avoid when this method of selling and promotion is open". Y, mejor, (porque cuarenta años después, las autoridades de competencia europeas siguen creyendo que hay que combatir la diferenciación de productos a través del Derecho de la Competencia: "Attacks on product differentiation by the Antitrust Division or the Federal Trade Commission also could result in blocking entry, the conclusion of the staff of the Cabinet Committee on Price Stability that “product differentiation protects established firms . . . from potential competitors” to the contrary notwithstanding. A new entrant can usually insinuate itself more easily into the market if its product is not identical with those offered by established firms. Why should buyers switch to a new supplier unless its product serves their tastes more efficiently than those already available? “Product differentiation . . . is often a means of competition that serves the public, providing minimum assurances of quality and cateringto a real consumer desire for product improvement or variation (Kahn, 1953.“Buyers dissatisfied with a product from a current supplier will more readily engage in a search for an alternative supplier if there are no legal barriers to the offering of alternative varieties. If only a standardized product is allowed, search is less likely to be fruitful and less likely to be undertaken".
  • Hovenkamp y Bohannan sobre la relación entre Derecho antitrust, Derecho de la Propiedad Intelectual e innovación: "No legal policies are more important for innovation, competition, and economic development than the antitrust and intellectual property laws. Both antitrust and IP law have wandered off course, however, subordinating public-regarding concerns for competition and innovation to interest group demands. Today these two areas of law are on very different paths to reform. During the middle of the twentieth century, antitrust policy lost much of its concern with economic competition and started protecting less efficient small businesses from the lower costs of larger firms. Then, beginning in the late 1970s the Supreme Court moved antitrust law in a new direction, redirecting it toward the protection of consumers. Antitrust’s decades-long period of isolation, redefinition and retrenchment is now largely completed. By contrast, reforms in the IP laws, particularly patent and copyright, are not yet finished... Patent and copyright law have lost their focus on facilitating the type and amount of innovation needed to benefit consumers, and turned toward the protection of rights holders, often at the expense of economic progress".

  • Un viejo artículo de Stigler sobre la reforma económica: "Reformers.. are generally rather literal and direct minded. If they wish to improve housing, they seek to have the state erect houses. If they wish to reduce accidents in factories, they pass a law against unfenced machinery. If they wish to help farmers to have remunerative prices, they pass a law which sets a minimum price. Yet we have seen that such policies are often unsuccessful. The powerful weapon they overlook is the appeal to the self-interest of individuals. If incentives can be contrived to persuade people to act voluntarily to the goal of reform, we can be confident that our reforms will be crowned with success.
  • Y lo que dijo un británico en 1963 sobre el mercado común europeo: "The critical test of the Common Market is agriculture. The agricultural provisions are extremely important, but they can be dealt with in a few words. They are bad. They will impoverish Europe and the world. They will retard the economic progress of France and Germany, especially Germany-not accelerate it. They will aggravate the evils which have already been produced by farm supports in Europe and North America".

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