The research domain “Economic Analysis and Policy” focuses on applying different economic approaches to facilitate the decision-making process at the firm and the government level. The researchers contributing to the field use empirical and applied theoretical analysis to evaluate policy-relevant issues.
They work on a wide range of issues: the regulation of network industries (energy, telecommunication, transport, etc.), innovation, competition policy, the impact of new technologies on regional development, the measurement of productivity or the sustainability of social policies. Researchers contribute to the policy debate in different ways. Mainly through publications in scientific journals but also through the organization of conferences and workshops. The following two events took place recently.
The third doctoral workshop on the economics of digitalization on May 3 and 4 in Louvain La Neuve, organized jointly by the Liege Competition and Innovation Institute (HEC Liège -ULiège) the CORE (UCLouvain), Telecom Paris Tech (France), (TSE) Toulouse School of Economics and the CESIfo (Munich).
This workshop brought together PhD students from the organizing institutions and from other European research centers around the topic of the digital economy. Our doctoral student Joe Lamesch presented his work regarding "Mergers in the digital economy", which analyses the reasons behind the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activities of major tech companies. He shows that the vast majority of the acquisitions occurred in product segments in which the acquiring firms already had an important position. Firms thus seem to use M&A to further strengthen their current business models and products.
On March 21 2019, the closing conference of the project ‘Energy Transition: Consumers and networks’ took place. This was co-organized by Axel Gautier and Julien Jacqmin together with Damien Ernst from the Faculty of Applied Sciences (ULiège). The event took place at the Château de Colonster and hosted more than 70 participants from academia and from the energy sector.
The energy transition changes the way we produce, consume and exchange electricity. New forms of interactions are now taking place with the electricity network. Energy consumers can now also be producers by investing in photovoltaic panels, and hence becoming prosumers. The aim of this project, financed by the Walloon region, was to study the integration of these new practices and how the tariff system should evolve in order to facilitate a sustainable energy transition. The research project blends together theoretical, numerical and empirical models. Pluridisciplinary in nature, this project led already to several publications in peer-reviewed academic journals like the Journal of Regulatory Economics, Energy Policy and Energies and received already an extensive coverage in the Belgian press. There were two parts to the event. After a presentation of the various findings of the project, a round table with major players (energy distributors and producers as well as regulators) of the energy system in Wallonia took place.