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Towards a Competitive Society? The Promotion of Competition as a Goal of Economic Policy


  • Sandmo, A.


This paper discusses the problems involved in considering competition policy as a separate area of economic policy. Two problems are given special attention. The first is the doubtful efficiency gain from enforcing competitive conditions in one industry when other industries are not operating at their competitive levels; this is a classical problem in the theory of the second best. The other is the justification for defining competition policy solely in terms of efficiency without regard for distributional effects. It is argued that the concern for distribution is the main reason why labour and agricultural markets, as well as the markets for public services, have to a large extent been immune to interference from competition policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Sandmo, A., 1999. "Towards a Competitive Society? The Promotion of Competition as a Goal of Economic Policy," Papers 10/99, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:norgee:10/99

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, January.
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    JEL classification:

    • D41 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Perfect Competition
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General


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