Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
A few months ago the Swiss Journal Aussenwirtschaft set up a contest for the best paper “to promote a debate among economists, lawyers, government officials, journalists, and other knowledgeable practitioners about the effects that competition law and its enforcement has had within the European Economic Area.” The contest winner would receive a prize of 5,000 euros and would have the article published in a special issue of Aussenwirtschaft in December 2007. I am happy to announce the contest winners- Robert D. Anderson (World Trade Organization ) and Alberto Heimler (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato) for their paper What has Competition Done for Europe? An Inter-Disciplinary Answer.
ABSTRACT: In recent policy debates in Europe, the question ‘what has competition done for Europe?’ has been posed at the highest levels. This question merits careful reflection. Competition as it is understood by mainstream economic and legal scholars refers not to an ideology but to inter-firm rivalry in markets. Such rivalry ensures that consumers enjoy choice, low prices, and good value for money. The authors consider the historical origins and development as well as the current role and effects of competition policy in Europe. The latter includes legal provisions that address anti-competitive practices by firms and activities aimed at promoting competition in respect of potentially anti-competitive government measures. They conclude that such policy has made essential contributions to the high standard of living enjoyed by European citizens, to the policy and institutional infrastructure of Europe, to related international initiatives and, indeed, to the creation of Europe itself.