OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Enhancing Competitiveness, Purchasing Power and Employment by Increasing Competition in France

Over the past decade, France has substantially eased the burden of anti-competitive regulations and effectively enforced competition law against anti-competitive practices. Various sectors have been opened up more widely to competition, and the powers of the Competition Authority have been strengthened. However, the administrative procedures involved in starting a business remain lengthy, and the number of regulations and rules is substantial, while their potential impact on competition is not fully taken into account when they are drawn up and implemented. Recent streamlining initiatives are welcome but remain limited. Meanwhile, the territorial fragmentation of public procurement procedures, which could decline following ongoing reforms, impairs their efficiency and entry and operating requirements appear to go beyond consumer protection in several regulated professions, such as in legal services and health care. In the retail sector, recent reforms have significantly relaxed negotiating conditions between suppliers and retailers, and Sunday trading is intended to be partly liberalised. However, the ban on resale below cost has not been challenged, nor the tight rules controlling commercial zoning. Individual shops that contract with superstore chains cannot change chain easily. Of the network industries, it is in the telecommunications sector that competition has made the most progress, and there is room for further improvements in transport and energy. This Working Paper relates to the 2015 OECD Economic Survey of France (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/economic-survey-france.htm).

English Also available in: French

Keywords: productivity, competition, growth, regulation, France
JEL: L8: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Services; L5: Industrial Organization / Regulation and Industrial Policy; L3: Industrial Organization / Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise; L9: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities; L4: Industrial Organization / Antitrust Issues and Policies; L1: Industrial Organization / Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance; O43: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity / Institutions and Growth
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