07 Apr 2003
Capacity Building for Effective Competition Policy in Developing and Transitioning Economies
This note begins by briefly addressing why competition policy is important for developing and transitioning economies. It then discusses some of the critical components of building a competition culture. Ideally, this process should begin by conducting a "needs assessment" in a number of areas. This assessment likely will lead to the identification of a list of steps that should be prioritised and undertaken. The priorities often can be grouped into three broad areas, namely, helping key constituencies to "buy in" to a competition culture, minimizing the extent to which a broad range of institutional mechanisms distort competition, and building an effective competition law enforcement regime to address private anticompetitive conduct. The note then summarizes the valuable perspectives of countries that have been providers or recipients of capacity building and technical assistance. It is based upon the responses to a questionnaire circulated in 2001 to delegates of the OECD’s Competition Committee and non-members who had been invited to participate in the second Global Forum on Competition, held in February 2002. This discussion is followed by a brief discussion of the potentially helpful roles that cooperation and peer review can play in the process of building the institutional capacity of a domestic enforcement authority. After briefly discussing the Doha Declaration, the note summarises the OECD’s capacity building activities in the competition field. Finally, in the conclusion, some suggestions are offered regarding a multi-faceted strategy for future capacity building and technical assistance activities.
07 Apr 2003
Product Market Competition and Economic Performance
Increased competition in product markets, as well as being good for consumers, can also boost productivity and employment, according to the study
Product Market Competition and Economic Performance by the OECD.
Competition improves productivity through a more efficient use of resources. At the same time it can encourage innovation and the rapid spread of new technology. Reforms to make product markets more dynamic will also boost real wages as prices are lowered through increased competition. The study argues that reforms undertaken between the late 1970s to the late 1990s, such as the liberalisation of telecommunications industries, increased employment rates in OECD countries by an average of 1.5 percentage points, reaching 2.5 percentage points in economies where pro-competition policies were pursued most vigorously.
This study forms a chapter in the
OECD Economic Outlook No. 72 published in December 2002.
07 Apr 2003
Competition Issues in Road Transport
The road transport sector, an essential mode of transport in OECD economies, is conventionally divided into two, largely unrelated, parts – the road freight industry and the road passenger industry. The sectors under discussion – trucking, buses, and taxis – have quite different characteristics and scope for competition, which reflect
inter alia differences in the timeliness and economies of scale and scope in operations. Trucking can sustain high level of competition and to some extent buses as well while there is some debate as to how and what form of competition can be introduced in taxis. As in the air transport industry, international trucking is governed by restrictive bilateral treaties. Most countries have liberalised their domestic trucking sector, removing controls on entry and prices. In the bus industry, long-distance bus services are liberalised in some countries while intra-city or local buses are very rarely liberalised. The taxi industry appears at first sight to be competitive with many buyers and many sellers.
07 Apr 2003
The Electricity Sector in Russia
The electricity sector plays a vital role in the economy of Russia and the well being of its citizens. Already partly privatised, reform of the structure and regulation of the sector has been on and off the political agenda for years. As part of the OECD’s long-term active support for reform efforts in the Russian Federation, a meeting was held in Moscow in May 2001 among experts from OECD member countries and Russian officials to discuss what could be learned from the experiences of reform in electricity sectors in OECD countries.
Key recommendations addressed restructuring – ensuring sufficient deconcentration in generation and independent, non-discriminatory control of grid access by separate ownership of generation and transmission – transmission pricing, universal service, institutional arrangements – empowering an independent regulator with transparent objectives, powers, processes and decisions – and transitional arrangements.
Russia is unique, but many of the policy considerations in Russia will also be important in many other countries.