Insights at UBC Sauder

Meet UBC Sauder’s New Faculty – Guillermo Marshall

Posted 2019-10-30
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Meet UBC Sauder’s New Faculty – Guillermo Marshall

At UBC Sauder, faculty members are more than just ‘professors.’ They conduct impactful research that is changing how society views the world while also inspiring students to pursue their academic passions and become the thoughtful, values-driven leaders the business world needs.

This year, UBC Sauder welcomed nine new full-time lecturers, tenured and tenure-track faculty to the school. In the fourth of this series, we introduce you to Guillermo Marshall, Assistant Professor, Strategy & Business Economics Division, UBC Sauder School of Business.

 

What brought you to UBC Sauder? 

 UBC Sauder’s group of world-class researchers and its collaborative environment made UBC Sauder a very attractive professional opportunity. I also thought (and still do) that my colleagues in the SBE division would help me become a stronger researcher both through collaborations and mentorship. I’m very happy with my decision to join UBC Sauder.

 

What are your areas of research and how did you get into this field?

My research is in industrial organization. My recent projects contribute new empirical evidence to two open debates. First, the impact of vertical integration on pricing incentives along the vertical supply chain. Second, the impact of market design on the incentives to innovate. I got into these topics because of how my work could contribute to policy discussions that are still unresolved because of a lack of evidence in academic literature (e.g., the competitive impact of vertical integration, the impact of mergers on innovation outcomes).

 

What inspires you to teach?

As an industrial organization economist, I’m passionate about firm strategy. I enjoy reading and thinking about the success or failures of firms and the motives behind their decisions. I also enjoy learning about industries in general. As a consequence, teaching strategic management comes very naturally for me. It’s an opportunity to have a conversation about something I’m passionate about.

 

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve discovered through your research?

A traditional argument for why vertical integration can benefit consumers is the “cost saving argument.” That is, by acquiring a supplier you no longer have to pay the supplier a price greater than marginal cost for the input. In theory, these savings could lead to lower prices and benefit consumers. This is one of the arguments that has been used to argue that competition authorities should not stand in the way of vertical integration. 

In a recent paper titled “The Competitive Impact of Vertical Integration by Multiproduct Firms,” we present new evidence showing that the “cost saving argument,” rather than decreasing prices, can result in price increases. This paper is part of a new wave of papers on vertical integration that have motivated a new discussion on whether competition authorities should be more aggressive in blocking vertical mergers.

 

What are you most looking forward to in Vancouver?

My wife and I grew up in Chile near the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains, which made us value nature enormously. We look forward to spending time outdoors with our children. We’re considering making sailing our family pastime.