Economic Theory and Competition Law
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Economic Theory and Competition Law

  • ASCOLA Competition Law series

Edited by Josef Drexl, Laurence Idot and Joël Monéger

The context for this book is the increasingly complex relationship between economic theory and competition law which gives rise to lively political and academic debate on the direction competition law should take in a more global and innovation-oriented market place.
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Chapter 3: The Goals of Japanese Competition Law

Shuya Hayashi

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Shuya Hayashi* 1 COMPETITION LAW AND POLICY IN JAPAN 1.1 The Intrinsic Value of Competition This chapter considers the goals of competition law, focusing on the various aspects of Japanese competition law. The general theme of the goal of competition law, one of the most challenging and controversial in the field, is addressed as well. Then the chapter explains the Japanese perspective on this topic, although a detailed discussion about what the goal of competition law generally should be, will be avoided.1 The goal of competition law is difficult to explain comprehensively. Of course, generally speaking, it is to promote free and fair competition. Promoting competition leads to improving economic efficiency and stimulating innovation and, as a result, maximizing consumer welfare. However, what is and what should be the concept of fair and free competition is highly controversial.2 As Kenneth Arrow has pointed out,3 many economists have focused on the consequences of resource allocation. Any * Associate Professor of Law at Nagoya University Graduate School of Law, Nagoya (Japan). 1 In principle, I will confine the footnotes on Japanese law to the materials written in English, mainly because of space constraints. 2 Similarly, it is also controversial that the ultimate goal of competition policy should be to maximize consumer welfare. Not a few economists think that the goal of competition policy is to maximize net social welfare including consumer welfare. Even if many economists accept the consumer-welfare standard, they will have negative attitudes towards such additional goals...

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