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Competition Law as Development Policy: Evidence from Poland


  • Rajabiun Reza

    (York University)


The relationship between the design of competition laws and economic outcomes remains the subject of considerable controversy in both law and economics. Recent cross-national studies suggest that effective legal constraints against anticompetitive practices can enhance prospects for economic development by increasing the number of market participants and the quality of broader political and economic institutions. This paper explores the linkages between regulatory constraints against anticompetitive practices and the efficiency of market mechanisms by focusing on the experience in Poland between the collapse of central planning and regulatory harmonization pursuant to European Union accession. The analysis suggests that per se prohibitions and a narrow bureaucratic mandate provided relatively credible and predictable constraints against anticompetitive agreements and practices during the formative days of the market system in Poland. The evidence has implications for other jurisdictions that instead implement the rule-of-reason approach to the design of competition law during the 1980s and 1990s.

Suggested Citation

  • Rajabiun Reza, 2009. "Competition Law as Development Policy: Evidence from Poland," The Law and Development Review, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 116-150, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:lawdev:v:2:y:2009:i:1:n:6

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arndt Christiansen and Wolfgang Kerber & Wolfgang Kerber, 2006. "Competition Policy with Optimally Differentiated Rules Instead of "Per se Rules vs. Rule of Reason"," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200606, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    2. Barbara Roberts & Steve Thompson, 2003. "Entry and Exit in a Transition Economy: The Case of Poland," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 22(3), pages 225-243, May.
    3. Buchanan, James M & Lee, Dwight R, 1992. "Private Interest Support for Efficiency Enhancing Antitrust Policies," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(2), pages 218-224, April.
    4. Jan Hagemejer & Jan J. Michalek, 2008. "The Political Economy of Poland's Trade Policy: Empirical Verification of the Grossman-Helpman Model," Eastern European Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(5), pages 27-46, September.
    5. Kee, Hiau Looi & Hoekman, Bernard, 2007. "Imports, entry and competition law as market disciplines," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 831-858, May.
    6. Parente, Stephen L & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 2005. "The Success and Failure of Reforms in Transition Economies," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(1), pages 23-42, February.
    7. Williamson, Oliver E, 1983. "Credible Commitments: Using Hostages to Support Exchange," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 519-540, September.
    8. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 2005. "Financial and Legal Constraints to Growth: Does Firm Size Matter?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(1), pages 137-177, February.
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