Call for proposals for market-structure roundtable

On Sept. 15 and 16, 2022, the International Center for Law & Economics (ICLE) will host a research roundtable at our headquarters in Portland, Oregon, to bring together authors and commentators to discuss research relating to market structure and regulation.

We are soliciting proposals from potential authors for this event. Proposals should briefly describe the thesis, argument, or hypothesis the author is exploring; its importance as a research topic and relevance to contemporary policy discussions; the intended methodological approach; the current state of the work (both early- and mid-stage research is suitable for this event); and any challenges that the author anticipates needing to overcome to complete this work.

Authors of proposals selected for inclusion will receive $12,000 honoraria to facilitate this work. This honorarium will be awarded in stages: upon participation in the roundtable, including submission of a draft paper written for an academic audience by Sept. 2, 2022; upon publication of a short-form version of the work written for a non-academic audience; and upon acceptance of the paper for publication in an established academic journal.

We also welcome expressions of interest from potential commentators who would like to participate in this event.

Topics of Interest

We seek papers relating broadly to the following. We are primarily interested in policy-relevant research and are open to work from a range of disciplines, including those that may not currently be much engaged in policy debates on these topics (e.g., business, political science, history, engineering, sociology, anthropology) and using a range of approaches and methodologies, including both empirical and nonempirical work.

  • Conglomerate business models: This topic includes work that studies potential benefits and harms for consumers arising from conglomerate business models and other large platform-based industries. Potential benefits and harms include economic issues (e.g., changes in prices or quality of service), but also may include topics such as impacts on trust in and governance of public institutions.
  • Market-structuring regulation: There is a long history of using regulation to structure markets, including scholarly debate about the effectiveness of such regulation. Proposals relating to this topic should evaluate how or whether such regulation can be used in the contemporary setting, in particular relating to the structure or operation of platform-based industries. We note a special interest in empirical work that considers the structure of network markets and their regulation, the role of switching costs, the measurement of network effects, and similar topics.
  • Vertical integration: This topic is relatively straightforward. There has been extensive discussion of vertical integration in recent years, including proposals for regulation (especially in the context of, e.g., self-preferencing, interoperability, and the like). Proposals relating to this topic may address issues relating to vertical integration generally but may also be responsive to contemporary policy proposals (including, e.g., how to effectively implement them or the risks and tradeoffs they may create).
  • Other topics: While we have special interest in the topics listed above, it is not an exclusive or exhaustive list. We welcome proposals relating broadly to themes suggested by this call for proposals. In addition, recognizing that some research (especially empirical research) might require additional funding (e.g., to obtain access to data or research assistance), we are happy to include requests for additional funding as is necessary to support work selected for inclusion in this roundtable.

Submission Details

Research proposals should be submitted to both Gus Hurwitz ([email protected]) and Keith Fierro Benson ([email protected]). Any proposal submitted by Monday, June 13, will be given consideration. Proposals received after June 13 will be considered on a rolling basis.