Case Studies in Competition Policy Research: A Systematic Literature Review

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The case study constitutes an important methodology in academic research, also in the field of competition policy. However, to the best of our knowledge, an elaborate review on how the case study method is applied in competition policy research is still missing. In response, this article presents a systematic literature review that comprehensively explores this topic through seven sub-questions: in which policy areas are case studies applied?; in which jurisdiction?; what are the specific purposes of the case studies applied?; how are the case studies designed (single or multiple)?; what is/are the specific case(s) about (unit of observation)?; how are the case studies undertaken (qualitatively or quantitatively)?; and are there significant relationships among several of these characteristics?. We confirm that the case study method plays an important role in research on competition policy. It is most adopted to studymerger cases, especially in the US, the EU and China. It responds to a broad variety of research questions. A single case study is most frequently used. The topic studied can be an organisation, a sector or a location. Both qualitative and quantitative case studies are found, but qualitative case studies are more common. We report a significant relationship between the topic of competition policy and the objective, the unit of observation and the case study methodology applied. Furthermore, there is also a significant relationship between the objective and the case study methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)V-XXVII
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Competition and Regulatory Law Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Competition policy
  • Systematic review
  • Case study

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