OECD Reviews of Regulatory Reform: Regulatory Reform in Spain 2000

OECD's 2000 review of regulatory reform in Spain. It finds that Regulatory reform has been crucial to Spain’s high economic growth in recent years. Spain has implemented far-reaching trade and investment liberalisation, privatised almost all state-owned enterprises, liberalised state controls, engaged in sectoral re-regulation and institution-building, and strengthened competition policy. Spain has gained significant economic benefits from these measures: lower prices and interest rates, increased supply-side flexibility, wider consumer choice, and higher quality of services. With labour market reforms, regulatory reforms have contributed to large falls in unemployment. Yet Spain still faces problems attributable to supply side rigidities: high unemployment and low employment rates, high inflation, mostly due to the service sector, and lack of innovation. Continued improvement of Spain’s regulatory regimes, combined with vigilance by competition authorities, will further boost the competitiveness of the Spanish business sector and minimise domestic obstacles to growth and job creation, while improving regulatory effectiveness in meeting key social policies. Spain is among several OECD countries to request a broad review by the OECD of its national regulatory practices and domestic regulatory reforms. This review presents an integrated assessment of regulatory reform in framework areas such as the quality of the public sector, competition policy and enforcement, and market openness. It also contains chapters on sectors such as electricity and telecommunications, and an assessment of the macroeconomic context for reform. The policy recommendations present a balanced plan of action for both short and longer-term based on best international regulatory practices.

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