Competition delegates held a Hearing on the Evaluation of competitive impacts of government interventions in February 2014.
Methods for evaluation have been illustrated with respect to specific policy interventions. The evaluations concerned lifting or imposing restrictions, but would not necessarily be related to advocacy by competition authorities.
The Hearing focused on the techniques for examining ex post impacts of pro-competitive regulatory reforms, and the results of such examinations. The expert presentations focused on the impacts of changed regulations, subsidies and market studies. Topics included:
In addition, early work to aggregate results from ex post evaluations of pro-competitive reform was presented by the Secretariat.
- effects of a maximum price regulation in the agrifood sector;
- evaluations of incomplete implementation of policy changes recommended by a market study in the pharmacy sector;
- effects of eliminating licensing restrictions in the taxi industry and evaluation of the competitive advantages that can arise from providing subsidies to one firm in a country but not its competitors;
- the effects of government subsidies to competitors.
Experts presented the following papers:
- Paper by C. Genakos, Pantelis Koutroumpis and Mario Pagliero This paper examined the impact of removing markup regulation on certain fresh fruits and vegetables, compared to others in which there was no change in regulation. Maximum markup rules apparently served as a focal point for pricing, resulting in higher average prices than without the maximum markup.
- Briefing note by Carmen Suarez: This briefing note focused on the OFT study on entry regulations in retail pharmacies, which was reviewed later in the decade.
- Paper by D. Purcell and Paul Gorecki: This paper provided an ex post assessment of two major interventions by the State in the regulatory regime governing the taxi market in Ireland.
- Paper by K. Thomas:This paper presented a case study of the effects of subsidies to shopping mall developments in one metropolitan area.
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