1887

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

Product Market Competition and Economic Performance in France

Over the past decade, French economic growth has been insufficient to bring down high and persistent unemployment. Available cross-country evidence suggests that enhancing competition is an important means to improve economic performance. France is catching up with best practice in competition policy reform. However, other policy considerations often hamper the emergence of effective competition. Relatively weak competitive pressures remain in a number of sectors, particularly in sheltered service industries. Restrictions on competition reduce productivity growth and hinder job creation in regulated sectors. Policy must focus on giving more weight to overall consumer welfare in the face of opposition from relatively small but vocal special interest groups. This paper discusses reforms that would increase competition by: i) strengthening institutions and better clarifying their responsibilities with respect to competition enforcement; ii) reinforcing the ability of sector regulators to improve non-discriminatory third-party access and other aspects of competition in the network industries; iii) abolishing overly prescriptive regulation in the retail sector; and iv) removing unnecessary protection in some professional services. This Working Paper relates to the 2005 OECD Economic Survey of France (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/france).

English French

Keywords: competition law, regulatory reforms, network industries, product market competition, France, retail sector, productivity and growth
JEL: L11: Industrial Organization / Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance / Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms; K21: Law and Economics / Regulation and Business Law / Antitrust Law; L43: Industrial Organization / Antitrust Issues and Policies / Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation; L81: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Services / Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce; L9: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities; L16: Industrial Organization / Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance / Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics: Industrial Structure and Structural Change; Industrial Price Indices; L33: Industrial Organization / Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise / Comparison of Public and Private Enterprises and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
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