We investigate the role of competition on the outcome of Austrian Treasury auctions. Austria's EU accession led to an increase
in the number of banks participating in treasury auctions. We use structural estimates of bidders' private values to examine
the effect of increased competition on auction performance. We find robust evidence that bidders' surplus dropped sharply
after EU accession, but less than reduced form estimates would suggest. The difference can be explained by reduced form estimates
not taking into account the increase in valuations upon EU accession.
Cartels were legal to a large extent in Austria until the country’s EU accession in 1995. We examine archival material on
registered horizontal cartels to learn about their inner working. Applying content analysis to legally binding cartel contracts,
we comprehensively document different collusion methods along the lines described by Stigler (J Political Econ 72:44–61, 1964).
Quota cartels employ regular reporting schemes and use compensation mechanisms for departures from set quotas. Specialization
cartels divide markets, and rely the least on information exchange and punishment. Price and payment condition cartels primarily
aim to prevent secret price cuts, requiring information provision upon request, allow for discretionary decision-taking and
(sometimes immediate) punishment. These stylized facts on the contractual arrangements suggest that the possibility to write
legally binding agreements was employed to address the usual obstacles to sustain collusion.
We estimate the causal impact of restructuring aid granted by the European Commission between 2003 and 2012 on the survival
and financial viability of aided firms. Using a comprehensive data set we find that restructuring aid increases a firm's average
survival time by 8 to 15 years and decreases the hazard rate by 58 to 68 percent, depending on the definition of firm survival.
Further analysis finds strong support that, in the longer run, aid receiving firms have a significantly higher probability
to improve their financial viability than the counterfactual group.