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The Effectiveness of Competition Policy and the Price-Cost Margin: Evidence from Panel Data

  • Patrick McCloughan

    ()

    (Indecon International Economic Consultants)

  • Seán Lyons

    (Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI))

  • William Batt

    (London Economics)

This paper presents robust panel data econometric evidence suggesting that more effective competition policy curtails the exercise of market power because countries in which competition policy is judged to be more effective are characterised by lower market price-cost margins, controlling for other factors, including market growth, import penetration and spare capacity. The measure of competition policy effectiveness incorporated into our analysis is the annual survey-based ratings of national competition authorities (NCAs) produced by Global Competition Review (GCR). Our findings imply a role for competition in enhancing economic competitiveness and that government should continue to support NCAs in enforcing competition policy.

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File URL: http://www.esri.ie/UserFiles/publications/20070921112454/WP209.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
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Paper provided by Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in its series Papers with number WP209.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp209
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  1. Aghion, Philippe & Blundell, Richard & Griffith, Rachel & Howitt, Peter & Prantl, Susanne, 2006. "The effects of entry on incumbent innovation and productivity," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Competition and Innovation SP II 2006-18, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  2. Harrison, Ann E., 1994. "Productivity, imperfect competition and trade reform : Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 53-73, February.
  3. Nicoletti, Giuseppe & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2003. "Regulation, productivity, and growth : OECD evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2944, The World Bank.
  4. Beata K. Smarzynska, 2003. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers through Backward Linkages," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 548, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  5. Philippe Aghion & Nick Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2005. "Competition and Innovation: An Inverted-U Relationship," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 701-728, May.
  6. Blundell, Richard & Griffith, Rachel & van Reenen, John, 1999. "Market Share, Market Value and Innovation in a Panel of British Manufacturing Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 529-54, July.
  7. Griffith, Rachel & Harrison, Rupert & Simpson, Helen, 2006. "Product Market Reform and Innovation in the EU," CEPR Discussion Papers 5849, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Konings, Jozef & Van Cayseele, Patrick & Warzynski, Frederic, 2001. "The dynamics of industrial mark-ups in two small open economies: does national competition policy matter?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 841-859, April.
  9. Levinsohn, James, 1993. "Testing the imports-as-market-discipline hypothesis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1-2), pages 1-22, August.
  10. Nickell, Stephen J, 1996. "Competition and Corporate Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 724-46, August.
  11. Clarke, Roger & Davies, Stephen & Waterson, Michael, 1984. "The Profitability-Concentration Relation: Market Power or Efficiency?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(4), pages 435-50, June.
  12. Simeon Djankov & Bernard Hoekman, 2000. "Market discipline and corporate efficiency: evidence from Bulgaria," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 190-212, February.
  13. Cowling, Keith & Waterson, Michael, 1976. "Price-Cost Margins and Market Structure," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 43(171), pages 267-74, August.
  14. Ann E. Harrison & Brian J. Aitken, 1999. "Do Domestic Firms Benefit from Direct Foreign Investment? Evidence from Venezuela," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 605-618, June.
  15. Hoekman, Bernard & Kee, Hiau Looi, 2003. "Imports, Entry and Competition Law as Market Disciplines," CEPR Discussion Papers 3777, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
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