Ralf Boscheck

Professor of Economics and Business Policy

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Ralf Boscheck is Professor of Economics and Business Policy. Boscheck teaches strategy, economics, and regulation, as well as country analysis and macroeconomic policy. For 30 years, his research has focused on how to assess competitive advantage, either from having a superior offer or simply an abuse of a dominant position. He is currently working on the Business and The Human Prospect, a project which identifies the regulatory obstacles that effectively prevent companies from profitably addressing the fundamental challenges facing humanity.

He has worked with an extensive list of corporate clients and authorities including ABB, Allianz, Atkins, Aventis, Bayer, Bertelsmann, CLP Group, Chopard, Cisco, Clariant, De Mello, Danisco, DuPont, Eon, Grundfos, Henkel, Hoechst, Holcim, Metso, Nestlé, Nestlé Health Science, Novartis, Norske Shell, Oman Electricity Authority, PwC, Roche, Santander, TXU Europe, Thames Water and WorleyParsons.

Companies should not be taken to task for making a lot of money, provided they create even more value for society – which unfortunately is not always a sure thing.

Boscheck returned to IMD in September 2021 after a three-and-a-half-year leave of absence to serve as Dean of the Business School at Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez in Chile. In that role, he undertook a fundamental reform of the school’s undergraduate program, changed the faculty and research policies, and built up a research-sharing network of 10 Latin American universities.

From 2014 to 2017 he was Dean of the IMD MBA program and launched the Navigating the Future conference at which MBA students gave presentations to an executive audience on trends shaping tomorrow’s business environment. During that period, he was also Director of IMD’s International Consulting Projects.

Earlier, he directed the Managing Corporate Resources (MCR) open program, precursor to the current Advanced Management Program (AMP), and the Breakthrough Program for Senior Executives (BPSE), IMD’s most senior general management program. He currently teaches on the MBA and Orchestrating Winning Performance (OWP) programs.

He has written four books, including Market Drive and Governance (Routledge, 2002) and Strategies, Markets and Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2008), and has had more than 40 articles published in refereed academic journals. Syntheses of his academic work have often been republished for a broader audience in various media outlets, and he has written articles for the Financial Times, Handelsblatt, Les Echos and other titles. During his time at Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez in Chile, he had a monthly column in the business newspaper Diario Financiero. He has also served as a member of the editorial boards of World Competition, Intereconomics, and the International Journal of Energy Sector Management.

Before joining IMD in 1990, Boscheck was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University, research associate at the Swiss Institute for International Economics, and a consultant with The Monitor Company.

Selected publications
Article
COVID-19 and the political economy of shared adjustment
By April 2021, the COVID-19 crisis in Europe had reached a magnitude that, in the eyes of some observers, either deepened lingering divides and threatened the EU’s very existence, or, conversely, f...
Published 1 September 2021
Article
Patent trolls: In search of efficient regulatory standards
Current concerns about the growth of patent assertion entities (PAEs) are typically related to their presumed anticompetitive behavior and negative impact on innovation in product and technology ma...
Published 1 February 2016
Article
Intellectual property rigths and the evergreen of pharmaceuticals
International intellectual property regulations are doing serious damage to the pharmaceutical industry and, by extension, to the health of people around the world. The core of the problem: growing...
Published 1 July 2015
Book
Strategies, markets and governance: Exploring commercial and regulatory agendas
This book addresses governance concerns at firm, industry, country and international levels. How do regulatory authorities deal with new business models, organizational structures and blurring mark...
Published 24 May 2008
Book Chapter
Energy futures: Introduction and overview
The Internatinal Institute for Management Development (IMD) organized a research conference entitled "Energy futures" in November 2005. 18 international energy researchers, policymakers and executi...
Published 15 January 2007
Book
Market drive and governance: Re-examining the rules for economic and commercial contest
The author looks to the various approaches of institutional and constitutional economics to complement traditional market models in shaping policies to govern increasingly complex market conditions...
Published 27 February 2002
Academic publications
Article
COVID-19 and the political economy of shared adjustment
By April 2021, the COVID-19 crisis in Europe had reached a magnitude that, in the eyes of some observers, either deepened lingering divides and threatened the EU’s very existence, or, conversely, f...
Published 1 September 2021
Article
Healthcare reforms and governance concerns the cases of the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany
The USA, the UK and Germany - countries with rather differetn institutional structures and spending levels - have all put healthcare reforms at the top of their domestic policy agendas. In each cas...
Published 1 April 2005
Article
The EU's new competition policy standards: In search of effects-based, economically intuitive or efficient rules?
In a 2008 article in the EU’s Competition Policy Newsletter, Peter Lowe, Director General of the EU Commission’s Directorate Competition, synthesised the experience of his office with regard to the...
Published 1 October 2009
Article
EU constitutional governance: Failure as opportunity!?
The French and Dutch rejection of the proposed EU Constitution in May 2005 threw the European Union into what many observers regard as its deepest crisis to date. This crisis can also be seen as a ...
Published 1 February 2006
Article
State aid, national energy policy and EU governance
On 31 March 2014, in a report summarising the work of 772 scientists, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) used its strongest language yet to call on world leaders to cut carbon emi...
Published 1 September 2014
Article
Competitive advantage and the regulation of dominant firms
Although US and EU competition law offers a well established framework for regulating commercial conduct, its main focus - the behaviour of dominant companies - is still unsettled. Legislators and ...
Published 1 January 2007
Article
The regulation of water services in the EU
The European Commission's proposal for a Directive on the award of concession contracts has sparked vigorous public debate and intense opposition. This Directive is controversial because of the nat...
Published 1 May 2013
Article
Intellectual property rights & compulsory licensing: The case of pharmaceuticals in emerging markets
The article discusses the intellectual property rights and the compulsory licensing of pharmaceuticals in the emerging markets. It explains how Thailand converts compulsory licensing into pure-cost...
Published 1 December 2012
Article
Constraining drug supply: Product positioning, patent protection and regulatory standards
This article reports on constraining drug supply. It discusses patent protection, product positioning, and regulatory standards. It mentions that the need to reconsider fundamental policy options a...
Published 1 December 2008
Article
Intellectual property rigths and the evergreen of pharmaceuticals
International intellectual property regulations are doing serious damage to the pharmaceutical industry and, by extension, to the health of people around the world. The core of the problem: growing...
Published 1 July 2015
Article
Market-testing healthcare: Managed care, market evolution and the search for regulatory principles
The growing costs of healthcare as a percentage of GDP in the industrial countries are causing considerable problems for these economies, but any attempt to change the existing healthcare system in...
Published 1 December 2006
Article
Article
The EU water framework directive: Meeting the global call for regulation guidance?
The growth in global water withdrawal over the last decade, extrapolated for hundred years to come, results in an annual extraction of twenty-three times the current level. But already the present ...
Published 1 October 2006
Article
Health-care cost containment through evidence-based competition: On the rebirth of an old idea and the chances for implementing it today
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) expects market-driven reforms to increase the efficiency of health-care systems particularly if policymakers succeed in aligning in...
Published 1 December 2011
Article
The EU's third internal energy market legislative package: Victory of politics over economic rationality?
The article offers information on the third internal energy market legislation of the European Union (EU). It explores the idea concerning "effective unbundling" and the ownership unbundling (OU) m...
Published 1 January 2009
Article
Technology competition and regulatory advantage
The importance of competition law as a policy lever to help the EU compete at the forefront of science and technology seems to have been overlooked by the Commission. As a consequence, the EU appea...
Published 1 November 2010
Article
Off-label drugs vs. the merits of centralised regulatory control
Escalating health care expenditures are rekindling regulatory interest in the pharmaceutical industry on both sides of the Atlantic. The focus is increasingly on off-label drug use, i.e. the use of...
Published 1 October 2008
Article
Internet and consumer privacy: Considering the FTC's do not track proposal
The digital economy relies on the collection of personal data on an ever-increasing scale. Regulations have to be found which can provide an optimal balance between consumers’ interest in privacy a...
Published 1 January 2011
Article
Pharmacy benefit managers: Fixing healthcare market failures or straining regulatory logics!?
US healthcare spending has made healthcare market reforms a critical and ongoing priority of regulatory policy. Healthcare markets are intrinsically fragile simply because providers deliver heterog...
Published 29 September 2017
Insight for Executives
Article
La nueva agenda: apódosis
A year ago, the UAI Business School organized a meeting called Navigating the Future. At that time, no one imagined what was going to happen. Since then we have seen a social conflict that left the...
Published 14 May 2020
Article
¡Bienvenidos a 2020: piensa de nuevo!
Any revision of the "Outlook 2020" just published in this newspaper results in five challenges that will affect our future: the specter of a global slowdown and growing protectionism; the doubtful ...
Published 17 January 2020
Article
Protesta, democracia y elite
More than 50 days of unprecedented violence, looting and vandalism, but also of a widely supported social protest, present the background of the debate [in Chile] on the modification of the crimina...
Published 20 December 2019
Article
¡A cumplir la promesa liberal!
Chile has surpassed in many aspects any country in the region, but it is still functioning well below its potential and the expectations of its population. It may be that the evolution of the Chile...
Published 15 November 2019
Article
Greta y los optimistas
Never mind that Greta Thunberg has not won the Nobel Peace Prize. What matters is that she evokes the collective guilt of not facing an unpleasant truth. Pessimists predict that humanity will falte...
Published 18 October 2019
Article
Propósito corporativo: ¿Adam Smith o Milton Friedman?
On August 19, 2019, the American Business Roundtable, representing the CEOs of large US corporations, reversed its revered creed, proposing the maximization of the benefits of the "stakeholders", r...
Published 11 September 2019
Article
¿Tecnofobia o precaución?
40 years ago, Arnold Toynbee related the rise and fall of civilizations with their ability to exploit pioneering techniques. Ten years later, Nobel laureate Robert Solow linked technological advanc...
Published 8 August 2019
Article
Crecimiento, sostenibilidad y liderazgo
Five months after the COP 25 summit, economic news keeps Chile focused on immediate and supposedly more urgent priorities: investments, consumption and growth. On the latter, President Piñera uses ...
Published 11 July 2019
Article
Lo que importa en los rankings
In the IMD Annual Global Competitiveness Ranking, Chile dropped seven places to rank #42 in 63 countries; the biggest drop among those evaluated and a loss of 23 positions since their best performa...
Published 31 May 2019
Article
¿Chile en un punto de inflexión?
The future of energy, demographic changes and their effect on health, and educational challenges in the digital age are some of the challenges faced in Chile. Are we prepared?
Published 24 May 2019
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Article
The problem with protective legislation is that it destroys the whole PBM model. It eliminates efficiency incentives, limits competition among pharmacies and drug suppliers and lessens rivalry amon...
Published 1 May 2017
Article
Why consumers should plan on paying more for medicine
The problem with protective legislation is that it destroys the whole PBM model. It eliminates efficiency incentives, limits competition among pharmacies and drug suppliers and lessens rivalry amon...
Published 10 March 2017
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Article
Running an MBA program comes with its share of challenges. But the biggest among them seem to be in coming to grips with shifting MBA market dynamics and going against preconceived notions. With th...
Published 29 May 2015
Article
The future of energy in the EU
Energy market rules have to take many things into account. Market integration, competition and regulatory efficiency are central, but these goals have to be reconciled with climate change objective...
Published 29 October 2014
Article
Competing in spite of the law
Despite a variety of regulatory backgrounds, some broad OECD trends can be identified in competition law. Narrower market definitions and lower concentration thresholds are being set, higher penalt...
Published 15 March 1996
Article
Managed trade and regional choice
Corporate and public policy makers need to understand the impact of regionalization on insiders' competitiveness and outsiders' market chances. Recent theories of international competition conclude...
Published 8 March 1996
Article
Competitive advantage: Superior offer or unfair dominance
The recent enforcement records of international competition policy authorities reveal a marked increase in antitrust investigations on charges of abuse of market power and restraints to competition...
Published 1 October 1994