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OECD Economic Surveys: Netherlands 2004

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Netherlands 2004

In this 2004 review of the Dutch economy, OECD examines the reasons for the volatility in the Dutch economy and makes recommendations in such areas as housing and pension reform, fiscal policy, labour force participation, product market competition,  innovation and productivity, and sustainable development. 

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Product Market Competition and Economic Performance

There is a well-identified empirical connection between the intensity of competition in product markets and better productivity performance (OECD, 2002a). Indeed, over the past decade the Netherlands has undertaken a number of structural reforms in product markets, primarily aimed at increasing its productivity growth. These reforms, even those implemented only recently, have been assessed as resulting in a more competitive environment for businesses, stimulating economic efficiency and technological progress.1 The service sector, where competitive pressures are weaker, has experienced relatively poor labour productivity growth over the 1990s. Planning restrictions are inhibiting competition in the retail sector and there is considerable scope to eliminate practices that restrict competition in professional services, even though both are relatively liberalised in the Netherlands. Reforms in some ...

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