Progressivity and Flexibility in Developing an Effective Competition Regime: Using Experiences of Poland, Ukraine, and South Africa for developing countries
The paper discusses the role of the concept of special and differential treatment in the framework of regional trade agreements for the development of a competition regime. After a discussion of the main characteristics and possible shortfalls of those concepts, three case countries are assessed in terms of their experience with progressivity, flexibility, and technical and financial assistance: Poland was led to align its competition laws to match the model of the EU. The Ukraine opted voluntarily for the European model, this despite its intense integration mainly with Russia. South Africa, a developing country that emerged from a highly segregated social fabric and an economy dominated by large conglomerates with concentrated ownership. All three countries enacted (or comprehensively reformed) their competition laws in an attempt to face the challenges of economic integration and catch up development on the one hand and particular social problems on the other. Hence, their experience may be pivotal for a variety of different developing countries who are in negotiations to include competition issues in regional trade agreements. The results suggest that the design of such competition issues have to reflect country-particularities to achieve an efficient competition regime.
Quality of Service, Efficiency, and Scale in Network Industries: An Analysis of European Electricity Distribution
Quality of service is of major economic significance in natural monopoly infrastructure industries and is increasingly addressed in regulatory schemes. However, this important aspect is generally not reflected in efficiency analysis of these industries. In this paper we present an efficiency analysis of electricity distribution networks using a sample of about 500 electricity distribution utilities from seven European countries. We apply the stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) method on multi-output translog input distance function models to estimate cost and scale efficiency with and without incorporating quality of service. We show that introducing the quality dimension into the analysis affects estimated efficiency significantly. In contrast to previous research, smaller utilities seem to indicate lower technical efficiency when incorporating quality. We also show that incorporating quality of service does not alter scale economy measures. Our results emphasise that quality of service should be an integrated part of efficiency analysis and incentive regulation regimes, as well as in the economic review of market concentration in regulated natural monopolies.