Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Antitrust enforcement and international development

The following item arrived in the Jurisdynamics mailbox just as I began to think this week about the role of law in international development. More on those thoughts later; for now, I am content to commend the abstract to my readers' attention:

Michael W. Nicholson, D. Daniel Sokol & Kyle W. Stiegert, Technical Assistance for Law & Economics: An Empirical Analysis in Antitrust/Competition Policy:
GlobeEffective antitrust is essential to prevent monopolies and cartels from dominating economies and undermining growth and development. Building the capacity of young antitrust institutions in the developing world and in transition economies is a means to improving the capabilities of these agencies to police against anticompetitive conduct. To facilitate the new regulatory order and to constrain retrenchment of these policies, countries increasingly have looked to the implementation/enforcement of antitrust policies through competition agencies. Many nations have augmented their development of competition agencies with technical assistance (TA) support. Determining how best to design TA programs to interact with nascent and financially constrained competition agencies is a difficult and complex matter. The objective of this study is to assess the impacts of the TA-agency partnership. This paper focuses specifically on factors that lead to improved effectiveness of TA as it pertains to improved agency effectiveness. In a field that has been lacking for empirical evaluation, we use a unique dataset of responses from 38 competition agencies that have received technical assistance from the period 1996-2003. Our empirical analysis demonstrates that issues of timing and absorptive capacity of particular forms of technical assistance within a larger political economy consideration maximize the impact and effectiveness of technical assistance provided to competition agencies.

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