Spotlight on Antitrust Experts: Gautam Gowrisankaran

Gautam Gowrisankaran researches critical antitrust and competition issues, with applications in healthcare, energy, and high-tech goods, among other sectors.

Professor Gorisankaran has particular expertise in analyzing highly regulated industries that exhibit rapid technological change, as well as markets where prices are negotiated. His research has been influential because he has pioneered ways to help answer complex and policy questions using the latest data.

Professor Gorisankaran specializes in ways to better understand company behavior in industries where prices are negotiated between buyer and seller. His award-winning research paper, “Mergers When Negotiating Prices: Evidence from the Hospital Industry,” provides methods for estimating the price impact of mergers in such settings, and then applies these methods to assess the implications of mergers and policy interventions in hospital markets. Prof. Gorisankran’s work provides a framework for equilibrium that can be traced back and can be applied to other negotiated rate settings, which include many business-to-business (B2B) transactions.

Professor Gorisankran’s research has been impressive because he has pioneered ways to help answer complex policy questions using the latest data.

Professor Gorisankran’s co-authored article, “Nash in Nash Bargaining: A Precise Foundation for Applied Action,” builds a theoretical foundation for the Nash in Nash model, which has become the backbone of corporate competition modeling and bargaining protocols in real-world settings. Since prices in most sectors are negotiated through B2B transactions, and as regulators have begun to focus on the effects of mergers on all business partners, not just consumers, this topic is of increasing importance in a merger review.

Professor Gorisankaran is also involved in a research paper that contributes to our understanding of vertical interactions – and addresses a significant gap in antitrust policy – by demonstrating that downstream market power can negate upstream market power. Due to the contributions of his research, Professor Gorisankran’s work has become widely used and cited in both academic and court circles.

Professor Gorisankran’s research has also directly influenced policy-making. For example, his work assessing insurance design, sponsored by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, has influenced the models that policymakers use to predict the impact of policy reform on health insurance coverage. His award-winning paper, Soaking the Sun: Battery Investing, Renewable Energy, and Market Equilibrium, provides a framework for policymakers to assess the benefits and costs of policies related to energy storage.

Professor Gorisankaran also provided comments to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding the draft vertical consolidation guidelines. He and co-authors discuss complex market interactions such as moral hazard, information asymmetry, two-stage competition, and price negotiation that can complicate merger analysis of “vertical” constructs.

Professor Gorisankaran is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and a Research Fellow at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). He is a member of the Health Advisory Committee of the US Congressional Budget Office. He has consulted with both the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division on multiple mergers.

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