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Product Market Competition and Economic Performance in Australia

  • Helmut Ziegelschmidt
  • Vassiliki Koutsogeorgopoulou
  • Simen Bjornerud
  • Michael Wise
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    The OECD Growth Study and other empirical work have shown that the strength of competition in product markets plays an important role in the economic growth process as well as contributing to a more efficient allocation of resources in a static sense. More intense competition is likely to encourage stronger efforts of managers to improve efficiency and induce higher innovative activity, leading to higher multi-factor productivity. This paper begins with a short review of Australia’s growth performance since the early 1990s and its possible link to strengthened competitive pressures and their interaction with other economic reforms. Attention is then turned to indicators of product market competition to gauge the strength of competitive pressures. This is followed by an assessment of the general competition policy framework and its role in promoting competition. The next section presents the framework of the National Competition Policy and reviews the completeness of the reform programme and the areas requiring further action. The paper then examines a number of sectors where regulatory policies can be expected to have particularly large impacts. The implications of trade liberalisation on Australia’s economic performance and the scope for further improvements are also discussed in some detail. The paper concludes with a set of policy recommendations. This Working Paper relates to the 2005 OECD Economic Survey of Australia ( Concurrence sur les marchés de produits et performance économique en Australie L’Étude sur la croissance de l’OCDE et d’autres travaux empiriques ont montré que la vigueur de la concurrence sur les marchés des produits joue un rôle important dans le processus de croissance économique et contribue aussi à une allocation plus efficiente des ressources du point de vue statique. Un renforcement de la concurrence encouragera vraisemblablement les gestionnaires à faire des efforts plus soutenus pour améliorer l’efficience et induire une activité plus novatrice, conduisant à une augmentation de la productivité multifactorielle. Ce document de travail commence avec un bref examen de la performance de l’Australie sur le plan de la croissance depuis le début des années 90 et de ses liens éventuels avec le renforcement des pressions concurrentielles et leur interaction avec d'autres réformes économiques. On s’intéressera aussi aux indicateurs de la concurrence sur les marchés des produits de façon à évaluer la vigueur des pressions concurrentielles. Cet examen est suivi d’une évaluation du cadre général de la politique de la concurrence et de son rôle dans la promotion de la concurrence. La section suivante expose le cadre de la politique nationale de la concurrence et analyse l’exhaustivité du programme de réformes et les domaines exigeant une action plus approfondie. Plusieurs secteurs où les politiques réglementaires devraient avoir une incidence particulièrement importante sont ensuite passés en revue. Les conséquences de la libéralisation commerciale sur la performance économique de l’Australie et les possibilités d’autres améliorations sont aussi examinées en détail. Le document se conclut par un ensemble de recommandations d’action. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l'Étude économique de l'OCDE de l’Australie, 2005 (

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    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 451.

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    Date of creation: 13 Oct 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:451-en
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