The Economic Characteristics of Developing Jurisdictions
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The Economic Characteristics of Developing Jurisdictions

Their Implications for Competition Law

Edited by Michal S. Gal, Mor Bakhoum, Josef Drexl, Eleanor M. Fox and David J. Gerber

There is ongoing debate as to what competition law and policy is most suitable for developing jurisdictions. This book argues that the unique characteristics of developing jurisdictions matter when crafting and enforcing competition law and these should be placed at the heart of analysis when considering which competition laws are judicious. Through examining different factors that influence the adoption and implementation of competition laws in developing countries, this book illustrates the goals of such laws, the content of the legal rules, and the necessary institutional, political, ideological and legal conditions that must complement such rules. The book integrates development economics with competition law to provide an alternative vision of competition law, concluding that ‘one competition law and policy size’ does not fit ‘all socio-economic contexts'.
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Chapter 10: Adapting the role of economics in competition law: a developing country dilemma

David J. Gerber


Competition law officials and economic policy decision-makers in developing countries often face a dilemma. They are regularly told by foreign advisers that they should adopt a form of competition law that relies on economics to provide the standard for competition law liability, i.e. the norms of the competition law system. An economics-based model (EBM) in which economics plays this role was developed in the United States and many components of it have been adopted in European competition law. This means that the most advanced competition law systems follow such a model to one degree or another, and this produces pressure on developing countries to follow them. Moreover, the accumulated experience in these older systems leads many to believe that all countries should follow this model. The image is usually that decision-makers in the more developed systems have learned lessons from these experiences and that their systems are likely to be the ‘best’ of these lessons. Imagine, however, the disconnect and thus the dilemma for decision-makers in many developing countries. In a small, African country, for example, decision-makers may find the idea of using economics in competition law attractive in the abstract, not least because foreign advisers urge its importance.

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