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Product Market Competition and Economic Performance in New Zealand

  • Annabelle Mourougane
  • Michael Wise

The paper examines the current state of competition in a number of sectors that are important for the economy. Because of the country’s small size and isolation, the analysis focuses on barriers to entry, investment and external trade, rather than some standard indicators of competition stance. The competition law and institutions are generally well-conceived, although high-profile litigation about mergers and market-power problems hasstretched their capacities and until recently, diverted attention from enforcement against price fixing. Overall, markets appear to function well in New Zealand, but progress towards liberalisation seems recently to have lost momentum. In particular, improvement could be made in three main areas: in the energy sector, lifting current barriers to investment and developing forward markets are necessary to ensure the economy will be able to cope with long-term challenges; in telecommunications markets, concerns have been mounting regarding high prices and slow deployment of broadband; and in the public sector, there is scope for further use of private delivery for public services and reducing state ownership, especially in potentially competitive markets. Some adjustments to the regulatory framework and policies in a number of other sectors would also be beneficial. This Working Paper relates to the 2005 OECD Economic Survey of New Zealand (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/nz). Concurrence sur les marchés de produits et performance économique en Nouvelle-Zélande Cet article examine l’état actuel de la concurrence dans un certain nombre de secteurs importants pour l’économie. L’analyse est axée sur les obstacles à l’entrée, à l’investissement et au commerce extérieur, plutôt que sur des indicateurs types de l’intensité de la concurrence en raison de la faible superficie et l’isolement du pays. Le droit de la concurrence et les organismes connexes sont généralement bien conçus, même si des contentieux notoires en matière de fusions et des problèmes de pouvoir de marché ont fortement sollicité leurs capacités et, jusqu’à une date récente, détourné l’attention de la lutte contre les ententes sur les prix. Au total, les marchés semblent bien fonctionner en Nouvelle-Zélande, mais le processus de libéralisation a apparemment marqué le pas ces derniers temps. En particulier, des améliorations sont possibles sur trois grands fronts : dans le secteur de l’énergie, il faut supprimer les obstacles actuels à l’investissement et développer les marchés à terme pour permettre à l’économie de relever les défis de long terme ; sur les marchés des télécommunications, le niveau élevé des prix et la lenteur du déploiement du réseau à large bande suscitent des préoccupations grandissantes ; enfin, dans le secteur public, on pourrait recourir davantage à la prestation privée de services publics et réduire les participations de l’État, surtout sur les marchés potentiellement concurrentiels. Des ajustements du cadre et de la politique de la concurrence seraient également bénéfiques dans plusieurs autres secteurs. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l'Étude économique de l'OCDE de la Nouvelle-Zélande, 2005 (www.oecd.org/eco/etudes/nz).

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 437.

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Date of creation: 26 Jul 2005
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:437-en
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