Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy is launching a series of curated book discussions titled ‘Vidhi Book Adda’. This is the first conversation in this series, on the book ‘Competition Overdose: How Free Market Mythology Transformed Us from Citizen Kings to Market Servants’ by Ariel Ezrachi and Maurice Stucke, organised by the Competition Law Team at Vidhi, on October 7th.
Over the years, stirring and promoting competition has been touted as the panacea for all that is lacking in underperforming markets. In most modern economies we are accustomed to believe that competition helps unleash the potential of free markets, ultimately resulting in increased consumer choice, lower prices, and improved quality of products and services.
However, the flipside of singularly relying on competition and the supposed ability of free markets to always self-correct is relatively underexplored. The book ‘Competition Overdose: How Free Market Mythology Transformed Us from Citizen Kings to Market Servants’ explores the consequences of unbridled competition.
The authors, through several case studies and examples, illustrate the dark side to excess competition which can increase economic inequality, stifle entrepreneurship and innovation, harm consumers, and damage a market’s ecosystem. It examines the limits of free markets and offers a very distinct view on the role of deregulation and privatisation in achieving sustainable and inclusive growth.
Against this backdrop, Vidhi organised a discussion with the authors of the book, Prof. Ariel Ezrachi and Prof. Maurice Stucke with Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, one of the pioneers of India’s market reforms since 1991. The discussion was moderated by Debanshu Mukherjee, Co-founder, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.