Michelle Sovinsky is a Professor of Economics at the University of Mannheim, a research fellow of the Center of Economic Policy Research (CEPR), an associate of the University of Chicago Becker Friedman Institute, and a research fellow of the Economics Network for Competition and Regulation. She received her Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Virginia and has been on the faculty in the United States (at the University of Southern California) and in Europe and has held visiting professorships in the US, Europe, and Australia.
She received an ERC Consolidators Grant for the period 2017–2022 for the project “Illicit Products, Unknown Competitors, and Illegal Behavior“ (FORENSICS), which the ERC supports with over 1.2 million Euros. A summary of her work is here (ERC projects, 2016).
She is currently a member of the Economic Advisory Group on Competition Policy (EAGCP) at the European Commission (2020–2023), an executive board member of European Association for Research in Industrial Economics Society (EARIE), and has served on the panel for EARIE and the European Economics Association meetings many times. She was the EARIE Scientific Program Chair in 2015. She is also a co-editor at the International Journal of Industrial Organization and was on the Editorial Panel of Economic Policy.
Her research focuses on using game-theoretic modeling with empirical analysis to examine policy issues in industrial organization and applied health. Her research covers a wide range of topics including individual-decision making under limited information and the implications for firms’ decisions and market power; and the antitrust implications of research collaboration or advertising expenditures; the analysis of decisions concerning long-term care for the elderly; and how individuals make risky decisions concerning their health, drug use, or eating behaviors.
Her research has implications for the design of public health policy and antitrust/
My research interests include empirical industrial organization, health economics, and applied microeconomics.
Research in Empirical Industrial Organization (IO) involves using datasets to study the structure of markets and the behavior of firms and individuals in these markets. The focus is primarily on markets in which firms interact in an imperfecly competitive environment. Given that firms compete (often non-cooperatively), the models that we study in empirical IO have a game-theoretic foundation. Some examples of questions studied in empirical IO include: how firms use tools at their disposal (such as prices, advertising, etc.) to gain market share; how sensitive consumers are to price changes; how certain industry structures can facilitate competition (or collusion), etc. Due to the nature of the field, there is a large overlap with topics in economic policy, antitrust, and competition policy (such as assessing the welfare impact of a proposed merger).
Empirical IO is a data intensive field that involves using data on firms, consumers, or aggregate markets to estimate models of firm behavior, consumer demand, or industry structure. Therefore, research in this field combines several elements: theory, institutional background, datasets and data coding, econometric tools and computation.
We offer courses in topics related to empirical IO at the bachelor, masters, and PhD level. For example, antitrust, industrial organziation, seminars in empirical IO, etc. In addition, it is possible to write a bachelors or masters thesis by contacting any of the below faculty in this area: