Omar Vásquez Duque is a lecturer at Stanford University and a research fellow at the Stanford Rock Center for Corporate Governance. His research applies behavioral insights to competition policy, corporate governance, and economic regulation.
Recent antitrust interventions have put forward behaviorally informed theories of harm. However, they have adopted a deterministic model of behavior, missing the nuances that allow behavioral economics to provide a richer picture of people’s conduct. The recently concluded Google trial, grounded on the stickiness of defaults, is a good example. A more careful application of behavioral economics would have shown how Google’s purchase of default search engine status was a part of a broader monopolization plan. It would also show why the dominant remedy, forced choice, would have negligible effects.
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