Kopafbeelding onderzoek CPB

Competition and regulation

An important CPB research theme is: what role can the government play for a better functioning of markets?

The concept of 'market' is interpreted in a broad sense, so that also institutional questions concerning public services fall under this heading. Important research topics are: energy, Public and semi-public organisations and health care.

The set of instruments is diverse. Most studies make use of the theory of industrial economics and institutional economics. Because it is often problematic to make a full fledged econometric study, mostly by lack of adequate data, the empiricism is mostly limited to international comparisons, descriptive statistics, interviews and stylized facts. For some topics, such as energy, calibrated simulation models are used.

Conclusions are often based on a creative combination of different theoretical views, empirical sources and common sense. While in itself it is the strength of the research in this sector to work with these limited resources, it is at the same time its weakness, because conclusions cannot always be as strong as desired.

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