[open-economics] Project Idea

Gustavo Silva gustavosantaremsilva at gmail.com
Fri May 29 23:24:21 UTC 2015

Hello all,

While wrapping up the last bits of my thesis, I was thinking to myself that
its conclusions can be applied to other industries, as long as they fit the
same kind of initial assumptions. For those who don't know, I'm doing an
investigation of pharmaceutical regulation and pseudo-generics.
In these industries, we usually observe a branded drug competing against a
generic drug. Sometimes, the first releases a pseudo-generic, increasing
overall competition among generics and they usually focus their branded
variety to the segment of the demand that is willing to pay for higher
prices. That happens because people tend to perceive them branded variety
as of better quality, even though the generic drugs are put under the same
quality tests.

In Portugal, fossil fuels have been quite talked recently, since people
find overpriced fuels, which huge loads of taxes and sometimes they don't
even go lower when the oil market goes lower as well. It usually takes some
weeks to go low, but then increases a lot very fast.
Anyway: In Portugal, some other firms have release what we can call as
pseudo-generic. They offer a lower priced solution that are harmless to the
common engine, even though people tend to perceive them differently. Due to
the fact that these firms have gained significant market shares throughout
time, the regulator is thinking about forcing branded firms to release a
lower priced solution for consumers - say, a pseudo-generic.

Parameters change a lot here. I don't want to introduce them in this email.
I can also predict some interesting outcomes, but I'll only talk about them
if we actually proceed with this analysis.
My model needs a couple of adaptations to fit this scenario, but it is
something doable.

I need your help to accomplish this project. I find it very interesting and
the scope of the research can be discussed later. For the time being, I'm
looking for some insights about how things usually work on other countries.
Is there any lower priced solutions? Has this solution (about branded-firms
introducing lower priced fuels) been applied to other countries? Has your
local regulator enforced any control mechanism?
Later we can come up to any theoretical conclusions (if it has not been
already studied in the literature) and test them using open data - there's
a work group dedicated to Oil affairs, which can help us doing this more

Please let me know your thoughts. I believe I don't need to highlight how
interesting this project can be, as fossil fuels is something all countries
use a lot, either as families (heating, personal car, agriculture, etc),
either as firms (same as families, but in a industrial size,
transportations, etc).

Best Regards / Obrigado e com os melhores cumprimentos,
Gustavo Silva

*Phonebloks <https://phonebloks.com/en>, Partnership Manager*
*Lubuntu Wiki & Documentation <https://launchpad.net/%7Elubuntu-wiki-docs>,
Team Leader*

*​Open Economics <http://openeconomics.net/>, Work group Leader​*
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