Professor Paul Dobson
Phone: +44 (0)1603 59 7270 Location:
Paul is Professor of Business Strategy and Public Policy and Head of Norwich Business School. He joined UEA in July 2010 having previously held the Storaid Chair of Retailing and Chair of Competition Economics at Loughborough University since 1998. He is recognised as a leading international authority on pricing strategy, retail competition, and supply-chain relations. He has written extensively on these matters, advised numerous national and international organisations, and provided regular commentary for a wide range of media (including TV, radio, and news/trade press).
He holds three degrees, including MSc and PhD in economics from the University of London, and have held academic posts previously at the University of St Andrews (1988-9), the University of Nottingham (1990-98), and Loughborough University (1998-2010).
Paul's publications include books on strategic management (e.g. The Strategic Management Blueprint and Strategic Management: Issues and Cases) and competition analysis (Buyer Power and Competition in European Food Retailing), as well as papers in leading academic journals on matters such as groceries pricing (Journal of Monetary Economics), supersizing and unhealthy food pricing (Marketing Science), add-on pricing (Marketing Letters), alcohol pricing (Addiction), sugary drinks pricing and soda taxes (Journal of Business Research), airline pricing (Economic Inquiry), countervailing power and consumer prices (Economic Journal), price wars (Economics Letters), local vs national pricing (Journal of Economics and Management Strategy), resale price maintenance (International Journal of Industrial Organization), exclusive dealing (Southern Economic Journal), wage bargaining theory (European Economic Review), public policy towards retailer power (Economic Policy), retail buyer power (Antitrust Law Journal), and private label and brand competition (European Competition Law Review). His current research interests focus on business strategy and public policy, following up two ESRC-funded projects examining the impact of retail pricing on overeating and food waste and the dynamics of price competition in UK food retailing, and an MRC-funded project examining alcohol pricing.
Paul has advised a wide range of policymaking bodies, regulatory authorities and international organisations including the European Parliament, UK Parliament, European Commission, OECD, UNCTAD, Office of Fair Trading, Financial Services Authority, and the Swiss, Hungarian and Serbian competition authorities. He has also advised numerous industry associations and major corporations on business and public policy and acted as an expert witness in competition and consumer law cases. His work spans a wide range of industries including retailing, wholesaling, fast-moving consumer goods, telecommunications, financial services, brewing, property selling, printed media and books, with advice covering competition and consumer welfare in the context of mergers, strategic alliances, market investigations, vertical restraints, and cooperative agreements.
Paul is a member of the Centre for Competition Policy at UEA. He serves on the advisory board of the American Antitrust Institute based in Washington DC, where in 2004 he became its first non-American board member. He has acted as a consultant adviser to the ESRC and is a member of the ESRC Peer Review College. In addition, Paul has served UEA as Social Sciences Faculty Associate Dean for Enterprise (2011-15) and Board Member of Adapt Commercial Limited (2011-14), and he is presently a member of the university's Senate (2016-present).
Assessing Brand and Private Label CompetitionUEA Repository
Pricing in inflationary times: The penny dropsFull Text UEA Repository
Retail Structure and Competition Assessment with Application to Latin America and the Caribbean: Background Paper by the OECD Secretariat
Alcohol tax pass-through across the product and price range: Do retailers treat cheap alcohol differently?Full Text UEA Repository
How Do National Brands and Store Brands Compete?: Centre for Competition Policy Working Paper 14-7
Market Consolidation and Pricing Developments in Grocery Retailing: A Case Study
The Competition Effects of Lookalike Private Label ProductsFull Text UEA Repository
The impact of mergers on fares structure: Evidence from European low-cost airlinesFull Text UEA Repository
Packaging in a market economy: The economic and commercial role of packaging communication
Fee or Free? How Much to Add on for Add-ons?Full Text UEA Repository
The impact of labels on the competitiveness of the European food label supply chainFull Text
Pricing in inflationary times: The penny drops
For a Few Cents More: Why Supersize Unhealthy Food?Full Text UEA Repository
Split Opinion: The Office of Fair Trading Opinion on Newspaper and Magazine DistributionUEA Repository
Relationship between Buyer and Seller Power in Retailing: UK Supermarkets (2000)UEA Repository
Private Labels and Branded Goods: Consumers’ ‘Horrors’ and ‘Heroes’UEA Repository
Mergers and Business Model Assimilation: Evidence from Low-Cost Airlines Takeovers
Buyer Driven Vertical RestraintsUEA Repository
Buyer Led Vertical RestraintsUEA Repository
Buyer Power and Competition in the UK Groceries MarketUEA Repository
Key Research Interests
“Technology Innovation for the Local Scale, Optimum Integration of Battery Energy Storage”, EU Horizon 2020, €592,000, 2015/9 (Co-Investigator).
"Alcohol policy modelling and evaluation", Medical Research Council, £1,100,000, 2010/3 (Co-Investigator).
"The impact of retail pricing on overeating and food waste", Economic and Social Research Council, £100,000, 2009/11 (Principal Investigator).
"Price dynamics in food retailing in Great Britain", Economic and Social Research Council, £197,000, 2009/11 (Co-Investigator).
"Buyer power in food retailing", OECD, £1,500, 2003.
"Buyer power in European food retailing", European Commission, €86,400, 1997/9.
"Welfare consequences of buyer power", Office of Fair Trading, £7,500, 1998.
"Vertical restraints and economic efficiency", OECD, £2,000, 1997.
"Vertical restraints and competition policy", £5,000, Office of Fair Trading, 1996.
"Net Book Agreement and the British book trade", Office of Fair Trading, £4,000, 1996.
"Abandoned mergers and collusion", Office of Fair Trading, £17,500, 1992/3.
Strategic Management: Issues and Cases, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004 (with K. Starkey and J. Richards).
Buyer Power and Competition in European Food Retailing, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2002 (with R. Clarke, S. Davies and M. Waterson).
Blauwdruk voor Strategisch Management, Baarn: Uitgeverij H. Nelissen, 1995 (Dutch version of The Strategic Management Blueprint).
The Strategic Management Blueprint, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1993 (with K. Starkey).
Business Strategic Management: A Self Study Work Book, Lincoln: Agricola, 1992 (with K. Starkey).
2. Journal Papers
“Containing Big Soda: Countering Inducements to Buy Large-Size Sugary Drinks”, Journal of Business Research, forthcoming http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2016.07.017 (with R. Chakraborty and J.S. Seaton).
“Pricing in Inflationary Times: The Penny Drops”, Journal of Monetary Economics, Vol. 76, pp. 71-86, November 2015 (with R. Chakraborty, J.S. Seaton and M. Waterson).
“Assessing Brand and Private Label Competition”, European Competition Law Review, Vol. 36 (2), pp. 76-81, February 2015 (with R. Chakraborty).
“Alcohol tax pass-through across the product and price range: Do retailers treat cheap alcohol differently?” Addiction, Vol. 109 (12), pp. 1994-2002, December 2014 (with A.K Ally inter alia)
“The Impact of Mergers on Fares Structure: Evidence from European Low-Cost Airlines”, Economic Inquiry, Vol. 51 (2), pp. 1196-1217, April 2013 (with C.A. Piga).
"Fee or Free? How Much to Add on for Add-ons?" Marketing Letters, Vol. 22 (1), pp. 65-78, 2011 (with G. Fruchter and E. Gerstner). (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11002-010-9112-3)
"For a Few Cents More: Why Supersize Unhealthy Food?" Marketing Science, Vol. 29 (4). pp. 770-778, July-August 2010, ISSN 0732-2399 (with E. Gerstner)
"Split Opinion: The Office of Fair Trading Opinion on Newspaper and Magazine Distribution", Competition Law Journal, Vol. 9 (2), pp. 262-274, 2010.
"Buyer Power in the U.K. Groceries Market", Antitrust Bulletin, Vol. 53 (2), pp. 333-368, Summer 2008 (with R. Chakraborty).
"The Waterbed Effect: Where Buying and Selling Power Come Together", Wisconsin Law Review, Vol. 2008 (2), pp. 331-357, Spring 2008 (with R. Inderst).
"The Competition Effects of Industry-wide Vertical Price Fixing in Bilateral Oligopoly", International Journal of Industrial Organization, Vol. 25, pp 935-962, October 2007 (with M. Waterson).
"Differential Buyer Power and the Waterbed Effect: Do Strong Buyers Benefit or Harm Consumers?" European Competition Law Review, Vol. 28 (7), pp. 393-400, July 2007 (with R. Inderst)
"Competing, Countervailing and Coalescing Forces: The Economics of Intra- and Inter- Business System Competition", Antitrust Bulletin, Vol. 51 (1), pp 175-193, Spring 2006.
"Retailer Performance Indicators in the Nation of Shopkeepers", International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, Vol. 15 (3), pp. 319-327, July 2005.
"Chain-Store Pricing Across Local Markets", Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, Vol. 14 (1), pp 93-119, Winter 2005 (with M. Waterson).
"Exploiting Buyer Power: Lessons from the British Grocery Trade", Antitrust Law Journal, Vol. 72 (2), pp. 529-562, Winter 2005.
"Competition and Collaboration in European Grocery Retailing", European Retail Digest, Issue 39, pp.12-21, Autumn 2003.
"The Patterns and Implications of Increasing Concentration in European Food Retailing", Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 54 (1), pp. 111-126, March 2003 (with M. Waterson and S. Davies).
"The Importance of Conduct in the Economic Analysis of Mergers: The Interbrew Saga", European Competition Law Review, Vol. 23 (8), pp 386-391, August 2002 (with L. Coppi).
"Buyer Power and its Impact on Competition in the Food Distribution Sector of the European Union", Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Vol. 1 (3), pp. 247-281, 2001 (with R. Clarke, S. Davies, and M. Waterson).
"Competition and Mergers in Consumer Goods Industries: The Case of Pet Foods", European Competition Law Review, Vol. 22 (10), pp. 443-457, November 2001.
"Retailer Power: Recent Developments and Policy Implications", Economic Policy: A European Forum, Vol. 28, pp. 135-164, April 1999 (with M. Waterson).
"Countervailing Power and Consumer Prices", Economic Journal, Vol. 107, pp. 418-430, March 1997 (with M. Waterson).
"Union-Firm Interaction and the Right to Manage", Bulletin of Economic Research, Vol. 49, pp. 213-229, July 1997.
"Exclusive Trading Contracts in Successive Differentiated Duopoly", Southern Economic Journal, Vol. 63, pp. 361-377, October 1996 (with M. Waterson).
"Product Range and Interfirm Competition", Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, Vol. 5, pp. 317-341, Fall 1996 (with M. Waterson).
"Multifirm Unions and the Incentive to Adopt Pattern Bargaining in Oligopoly", European Economic Review, Vol. 38, pp. 87-100, January 1994.
"Mutually Related Firms and the "Rationality" of Producing Nothing", Managerial and Decision Economics, Vol. 13, pp. 485-491, 1992.
"The Competitive Advantage of Nations: Review", Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 29 (2), pp. 253-255, March 2002 (with K. Starkey).
"How Well Does Privatisation Achieve Government Objectives? The Case of Bus Buy-Outs", International Journal of Transport Economics, Vol. 19 (3), pp. 259-285, 1992 (with M. Wright, S. Thompson and K. Robbie).
"On the Possibility of Price Wars When Firms Use a "Tit-for-Tat" Strategy", Economics Letters, Vol. 32, pp. 115-119, 1990 (with C.D. Sinclair).
3. Contributions to Edited Volumes
“Market Consolidation and Pricing Developments in Grocery Retailing: A Case Study”, in Analysis of Competition Policy and Sectoral Regulation, Martin Pietz and Yossi Spiegel (ed.), Now Publishers, 2014, pp. 3-29 (with R. Chakraborty, J.S. Seaton and M. Waterson) (http://www.worldscientific.com/doi/suppl/10.1142/9228/suppl_file/9228_chap01.pdf)
“The Competition Effects of Lookalike Private Label Products”, in National Brands and Private Labels in Retailing (First International Symposium NB&PL, Barcelona, June 2014), J.C. Gázquez-Abad, F.J. Martínez-López, I. Esteban-Millat, J.A. Mondéjar-Jiménez, Springer Proceedings in Business and Economics, Heidelberg, June 2014, pp. 17-26 (with Li Zhou).
"Relationship between Buyer and Seller Power in Retailing: UK Supermarkets (2000)", in Cases in European Competition Policy: The Economic Analysis, B. Lyons (ed), Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, August 2009.
Private Labels and Branded Goods: Consumers' ‘Horrors' and ‘Heroes', in Private Labels, Brands and Competition Policy: The Changing Landscape of Retail Competition, A. Ezrachi and U. Bernitz (ed.), Oxford University Press: Oxford, February 2009 (with R. Chakraborty).
"Buyer-Driven Vertical Restraints", in The Pros and Cons of Vertical Restraints, Konkurrensverket (ed), Swedish Competition Authority: Stockholm, November 2008.
"Buyer-Led Vertical Restraints", in Issues in Competition Law and Policy, W.D. Collins (ed), American Bar Association, ABA Publishing: Chicago, September 2008.
"Vertical Restraints Policy in the UK and EC" in New Developments in UK and EC Competition Policy, R. Clarke and E. Morgan (eds), Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, 2006, pp. 142-168.
"Buyer-Supplier Bargaining and Intra-Industry Competition", in Market Evolution: Competition and Cooperation, A. van Witteloostuijn (ed), Kluwer Press: Dordrecht, 1995, pp 183-196.
4. Departmental Discussion Papers
“How Do National Brands And Store Brands Compete?” CCP Working Paper 14-7, Centre for Competition Policy at UEA, August 2014 (with R. Chakraborty). (http://competitionpolicy.ac.uk/documents/8158338/8199490/CCP+Working+Paper+14-7.pdf/a4e5dc73-b74e-452c-bcb7-fc80020620bd).
"Pricing in inflationary times: the penny drops", The Warwick Economics Research Working Papers (TWERPS) 975, December 2011 (R. Chakraborty, S. Seaton and M. Waterson). (http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2011/twerp_975.pdf)
"Mergers and Business Model Assimilation: Evidence from Low-Cost Airlines Takeovers," Discussion Paper Series 2009/2, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, February 2009 (with C.A. Piga).
"Chain-Store Competition: Customized vs. Uniform Pricing", The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 840, February 2008.
"Vertical Restraints Policy Reform in the European Union and United Kingdom", Loughborough University Business School Research Series, No. 2005: 2, May 2005.
"Chain-Store Pricing for Strategic Accommodation", University of Warwick Working Paper, No. 677, April 2003 (with M. Waterson).
"Retailer Buyer Power in European Markets: Lessons from Grocery Supply", Loughborough University Business School Research Series, No. 2002: 1, June 2002.
"The Competition Effects of Look-Alike Products", University of Nottingham Business School Discussion Paper, No. 1998:VI, 1998.
"The Economic Welfare Implications of Own Label Goods", University of Nottingham Business School Discussion Paper, No. 1998:IV, 1998.
"Assessing (Vertical) Leverage Issues in Telecom Debates: Nirvana Economics Anew'', Centre for Research on Telecommunications Policy Research Paper, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, No. CRTP-43, October 1997 (M.W. Klass and D.J. Teece).
"The Public Policy Implications of Increasing Retailer Power", Discussion Paper 1996.IV, School of Management & Finance, University of Nottingham, 1996 (with M. Waterson).
"The Effects of Exclusive Purchasing on Interbrand and Intrabrand Rivalry", Warwick Economics Working Paper, University of Warwick, No. 94-15, 1994 (with M. Waterson).
"Contract Renewal and the Value of Incumbency in Supplier Bidding Competition", Discussion Paper 1993.X, School of Management & Finance, University of Nottingham, 1993 (with R. Mudambi).
"A Theory of Bilateral Oligopoly", Working Paper No. 88/3, Department of Management, University of St Andrews.
5. Short Articles and Essays
"Retail Micro-Marketing: A Cocktail for Discrimination", The Grocer, 3 February 2007.
"Voices from the Supermarket Shelves – The Language of Competition", British Brands, Issue No.18, Autumn 2003.
"Competition and Mergers in Consumer Goods Industries", CRA Competition Policy Discussion Papers 1, November 2001. (Translated as "Concentrations et concurrence dans les industries de biens de consommation courante", CRA Articles sur la Politique de al Concurrence 1, Decembre 2001).
"EC Policy on Vertical Restraints", Competition & Regulation Bulletin, No. 10, London Economics, November 1999.
"The Competition Effects of Look-Alike Products", British Brands, Issue No.7, Autumn 1998.
6. Official Reports (for government authorities and international bodies)
Retail Structure and Competition Assessment with Application to Latin America and the Caribbean: Background paper by the OECD Secretariat, Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, Competition Committee, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), DAF/COMP/LACF(2015)13, 51 pages, 26 August 2015 (http://www.oecd.org/officialdocuments/publicdisplaydocumentpdf/?cote=DAF/COMP/LACF(2015)13&docLanguage=En (English version) =Es (Spanish version))
The impact of private labels on the competitiveness of the European food supply chain, European Commission, ISBN 978-92-79-19149-7, January 2011 (with Bunte, F., Galen, M. van, Winter, M. de, Dobson, P., Bergès-Sennou, F., Monier-Dilhan, S., Juhász, A., Moro, D., Sckokai, P., Soregaroli, C., Meulen, B van der, Szajkowska, A.) (https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/41229/1/study_privlab04042011_en.pdf )
Buyer Power in Food Retailing: The European Experience, prepared for Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 12 pages, February 2003.
Buyer Power and its Impact on Competition in the Food Retail Distribution Sector of the European Union, European Commission – DGIV (IV/98/ETD/078), 199+i pages, 1999 (with R. Clarke, S. Davies, and M. Waterson).
The Welfare Consequences of the Exercise of Buyer Power, Research Paper No.16, Office of Fair Trading, 55 pages, 1998 (with M. Waterson and A. Chu).
Vertical Restraints and Competition Policy, Research Paper No.12, Office of Fair Trading, London, 82+vi pages, 1996 (with M. Waterson).