Their Implications for Competition Law
Edited by Michal S. Gal, Mor Bakhoum, Josef Drexl, Eleanor M. Fox and David J. Gerber
Chapter 4: Economic structure and competition policy application in Latin American countries
The relationship between competition and economic development is controversial. From a theoretical point of view, a competitive market structure should have a positive effect on economic growth. However, there is an intense discussion over the effects of the intensity of competition for innovation and economic development. In Latin America, there are no quantitative studies on the relationship between competition policy and economic structure. This chapter is a first attempt to evaluate this interaction. Additionally, the chapter addresses competition policy implementation in Latin American countries (LACs) at the national and regional level. Average GDP per capita in LACs is similar to the world’s average. However, LACs have some characteristics that differentiate them from the rest of the world: high international trade tariffs, low productivity, poverty and income inequality. Nevertheless, the countries’ GDP per capita has grown significantly during the last decade, as have some social indicators like the Human Development Index. LACs usually do not perform well from a competition policy perspective. This chapter will use quantitative analysis to examine the relationship between competition policies and GDP per capita more deeply. Additionally, we address the institutional factor, comparing competition laws and agencies’ performance in LACs in order to assess conditions for competition policy to be sustainable and effective. Finally, we also consider international and regional agreements concerning competition issues, to evaluate their effectiveness and their impact on national competition performance. The chapter is organized as follows.
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