Barbara Baarsma's research applies micro-economic instruments to resolve issues related to competition and market regulation. She previously conducted research on the market forces affecting the education sector, legal professions, notaries and the electricity sector. Baarsma has also conducted research on self-regulation, monitoring and quality regulation (in the electricity sector). Her area of focus also includes the issue of competition. Amongst other aspects, Baarsma has been involved in the definition of relevant markets, the development of a legislative test for fair competition and issues in the area of market entrance. Baarsma also advises in competition cases (such as mergers, cartel-related cases and state aid). She has extensive experience in conducting cost-benefit analyses and monetary valuations.
In 2008, Baarsma's career at the SEO culminated in her appointment as managing director. She also serves as a member of the Supervisory Board at Loyalis NV. Baarsma was a member of the Public Service Broadcasting audit committee, which assessed the broadcasting organisation's performance between 2004 and 2008 and published its final report in April 2009. She is currently chair of the Vertical Integration Committee in healthcare established by Minister Klink of Health, Welfare and Sport. Prior to her tenure at SEO, Baarsma served as a researcher at the University of Amsterdam's Faculty of Economics and Business, where she wrote a dissertation on the monetary valuation of external effects.