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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
February 2019
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Book description

Lévêque recounts twenty revealing tales of real-life rivalry between firms across diverse industries, including wine, skiing, opera, video games and cruise liners. These entertaining and insightful narratives are informed by recent advances in economics, factoring in the many forces driving competition, including globalization and innovation. Divided into four sections, the book covers competition and the market; competition and variety; competition through innovation; and competition and equality. Read together, these stories also serve as building blocks to address the issue of whether competition between firms has entered a new era of increased intensity. This book will appeal to anyone, from company executives to consumers, who are interested in the economics of contemporary industry and want to incorporate a grasp of competition into their everyday decision-making. This book can also be used as a supplementary text in courses in microeconomics, business economics and industrial organisation.


‘What has economics to say about skis, shipping, soccer and cereals? A great deal, as Lévêque shows in this addictively appealing book. Lévêque draws on the brilliant insights and evidence that leading economists studying industries and markets have amassed over the past forty years to lay out the various workings of competition in different industries. Falling transport costs, innovation and the digital revolution have transformed the world of industry and commerce. This book may do for industrial organization what Freakonomics did for the economics of the ‘Hidden Side of Everything'.'

David Newbury - Emeritus Professor and Director of The Energy Policy Research Group (EPRG), University of Cambridge

‘Through a variety of beautifully crafted and comprehensively documented case-studies, François Lévêque illuminates the theory of market competition and proves wrong all those who claim that economics is a dismal science. Competition's New Clothes is a must-read for anyone interested in the inner workings of modern markets, and an ideal companion book for the teaching of microeconomics, business economics and industrial organization.'

Paul Belleflamme - Université catholique de Louvain

‘An extremely engaging book that teaches almost everything you would want to know about competition and markets through the use of a diverse set of real world ‘stories’. Perfect competition, to monopolist competition, to oligopoly, to monopoly, to innovation. Stories about casinos, toys, wine, breakfast cereals, soccer, ride hailing services, and more. The book is hard to put down which is saying something about n book about microeconomics.’

Paul L. Joskow - Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics, Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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