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The Assessment: Competition Policy

Donald Hay

Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 1993, vol. 9, issue 2, 1-26

Abstract: The paper advances four propositions concerning the objectives, content, and institutions of competition policy. First, the role of policy should be to advance economic efficiency, rather than competition for its own sake, or some wider definition of the public interest. Second, economic analysis is generally ambiguous, a priori, about the efficiency effects of particular market structures and conduct. Third, the design of policy and institutions needs to reflect this ambiguity. Policy rules are essential, but there should be scope for parties to argue countervailing efficiency benefits. A policy institution should be empowered to identify, investigate, and propose remedies for failures of competition, subject to review by an independent competition tribunal. Fourth, international harmonization of competition policies is essential. Current policies in the U.K. and EC, and relationships between the two, are evaluated, and the case made for a radical reform of U.K. policy. Copyright 1993 by Oxford University Press.

Date: 1993
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