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Economic development, competition policy, and the World Trade Organization

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  • Hoekman, Bernard
  • Mavroidis, Petros C.

Abstract

At the recent World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial meeting in Doha, Qatar, WTO members called for the launch of negotiations on disciplines relating to competition based on explicit consensus on modalities to be agreed at the fifth WTO ministerial meeting in 2003. WTO discussions since 1997 have revealed little support for ambitious multilateral action. Proponents of the WTO antitrust disciplines currently propose an agreement that is limited to"core principles"-nondiscrimination, transparency, and provisions banning"hard core"cartels. The authors argue that an agreement along such lines will create compliance costs for developing countries without addressing the anticompetitive behavior of firms located in foreign jurisdictions. To be unambiguously beneficial to low-income countries, any WTO antitrust disciplines should recognize the capacity constraints that prevail in these economies, make illegal collusive business practices by firms with international operations that raise prices in developing country markets, and require competition authorities in high-income countries to take action against firms located in their jurisdictions to defend the interests of affected developing country consumers. More generally, a case is made that traditional liberalization commitments using existing WTO fora will be the most effective means of lowering prices and increasing access to an expanded variety of goods and services.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2917.

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Date of creation: 31 Oct 2002
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2917

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Keywords: Markets and Market Access; Economic Theory&Research; Labor Policies; Environmental Economics&Policies; ICT Policy and Strategies; Environmental Economics&Policies; Economic Theory&Research; TF054105-DONOR FUNDED OPERATION ADMINISTRATION FEE INCOME AND EXPENSE ACCOUNT; ICT Policy and Strategies; Access to Markets;

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References

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  1. Barrett, Christopher B. & Yang, Yi-Nung, 2001. "Rational incompatibility with international product standards," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 171-191, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sudsawasd, Sasatra, 2010. "An empirical assessment of the relationship between competition policy and investment," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 466-475, October.
  2. Agata Antkiewicz & John Whalley, 2006. "Recent Chinese Buyout Activity and the Implications for Global Architecture," NBER Working Papers 12072, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Aditya Bhattacharjea, 2004. "EXPORT CARTELS : A Developing Country Perspective," Working papers 120, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.

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