Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=636279
 
 

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Economic Development, Competition Policy, and the World Trade Organization


Bernard Hoekman


Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies; European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Petros C. Mavroidis


Columbia University - Law School; European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW); European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS)

October 2002

World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 2917

Abstract:     
At the recent World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial meeting in Doha, Qatar, WTO members called for the launch of negotiations on disciplines relating to competition based on explicit consensus on modalities to be agreed at the fifth WTO ministerial meeting in 2003. WTO discussions since 1997 have revealed little support for ambitious multilateral action. Proponents of the WTO antitrust disciplines currently propose an agreement that is limited to "core principles" - nondiscrimination, transparency, and provisions banning "hard core" cartels. Hoekman and Mavroidis argue that an agreement along such lines will create compliance costs for developing countries without addressing the anticompetitive behavior of firms located in foreign jurisdictions. To be unambiguously beneficial to low-income countries, any WTO antitrust disciplines should recognize the capacity constraints that prevail in these economies, make illegal collusive business practices by firms with international operations that raise prices in developing country markets, and require competition authorities in high-income countries to take action against firms located in their jurisdictions to defend the interests of affected developing country consumers. More generally, a case is made that traditional liberalization commitments using existing WTO fora will be the most effective means of lowering prices and increasing access to an expanded variety of goods and services.

This paper - a product of Trade, Development Research Group - is part of a larger effort in the group to analyze "behind the border" policies that affect international trade.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

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Date posted: December 21, 2004  

Suggested Citation

Hoekman, Bernard and Mavroidis, Petros C., Economic Development, Competition Policy, and the World Trade Organization (October 2002). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 2917. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=636279

Contact Information

Bernard Hoekman (Contact Author)
Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies ( email )
Fiesole, Tuscany
Italy
European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )
Via dei Roccettini 9
via delle Fontanelle 10
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole, Florence 50014
Italy
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
Petros C. Mavroidis
Columbia University - Law School ( email )
435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States
European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW) ( email )
Via Boccaccio 121 (Villa Schifanoia)
I-50122 Firenze
ITALY
European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )
Via dei Roccettini 9
via delle Fontanelle 10
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole, Florence 50014
Italy
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