Friday, August 26, 2011

Competition, pricing, inflation, interest rates and the EU SIngle Market

In business school I was taught that when a company is thinking of a new product or service, it must estimate costs, then research what the market is willing to pay, if larger, price at max. But many companies use a costs + % profit expectation = price system.

In Economics I learned that prices go up when companies see more demand and decide easier to raise price than expand capacity. Of course, in Services expanding capacity is ceteris paribus and in theory easier/cheaper than in Manufacturing.

In practice market structure (and enforcement or lack thereof, of competition law) plays key role in pricing decisions and in inflation. I suspect that is one of the reasons the Euro interest rate set by ECB is 1.5% in order to curb inflation compared eg to USA (0-0.25%): Less competitive markets than eg the US ones. That merely what I suspect. . As well as more regulations that tie the hands of business to adjust to the ups and downs. And of course a very imperfect 19 year old EU single market!

I even recall some analyses ib the last 2-3 years that said that EU single market works better outside the Eurozone than inside! Makes one wonder!

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