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Raising Economic Performance by Fostering Product Market Competition in Germany

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  • Andrés Fuentes
  • Eckhard Wurzel
  • Andreas Reindl

Abstract

Much scope remains to make regulation of product markets more conducive to competition ? notwithstanding progress in recent years ? with substantial benefits for consumer welfare, productivity and employment. While the general competition legislation and enforcement framework is mostly effective, measures need to be taken to reduce administrative burdens on entrepreneurship and reduce the involvement of the government in business sector activities, notably through accelerated privatisation. Policies favouring small enterprises need to be revised, with a view to fully exposing them to competition and avoiding disincentives for small firms to grow. Substantial regulatory challenges exist in specific sectors, notably in the energy and railway industries where non-discriminatory access of market entrants to networks needs to be improved. Environmental objectives in energy market regulation could be achieved at lower cost. In the telecommunications industry, competition in the local loop can be strengthened. Regulation of the liberal professions is among the most restrictive in the OECD. Entry barriers need to be eliminated in crafts. and restrictions on large-scale retailing development could be eased. This paper relates to the 2006 Economic Survey of Germany (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/germany). Améliorer la performance économique en stimulant la concurrence sur les marchés de produits en Allemagne En dépit des progrès accomplis ces dernières années, beaucoup reste à faire pour rendre la réglementation des marchés de produits plus propice à la concurrence, ce qui induira de substantiels avantages en termes de bien-être du consommateur, de productivité et d'emploi. Le droit commun de la concurrence et son cadre d'application sont dans l'ensemble efficaces, mais il faut alléger les charges administratives qui pèsent sur l'entrepreneuriat et réduire l'intervention de l'État dans les activités du secteur des entreprises, notamment par une privatisation accélérée. Il convient de réviser les dispositifs favorables aux petites entreprises, pour les exposer pleinement à la concurrence et éviter de les décourager de croître. De sérieux problèmes de réglementation persistent dans certains secteurs, notamment l'énergie et les chemins de fer, où l'accès non discriminatoire des entrants aux réseaux demande à être amélioré. Les objectifs environnementaux de la réglementation des marchés de l'énergie pourraient être réalisés à moindre coût. Dans l'industrie des télécommunications, la concurrence sur la boucle locale peut être renforcée. La réglementation des professions libérales est parmi les plus restrictives de la zone OCDE. Dans le secteur de l'artisanat, les obstacles à l'entrée doivent être supprimés, et il convient d'assouplir les restrictions qui limitent le développement des magasins de grande surface. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE de l’Allemagne 2006 (www.oecd.org/eco/etudes/allemagne).

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/870306864741
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 507.

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Date of creation: 04 Aug 2006
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:507-en

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Keywords: competition; competition law; productivity and growth; network industries; privatisation; Germany; regulatory policies; concurrence; industrie de réseau; privatisation; Allemagne; droit de la concurrence; productivité et croissance; politique de réglementation;

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