Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Lucky Trip? Perspectives from a Foreign Advisor on Competition Policy, Development and Technical Assistance
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
The godfather of antitrust technical assistance, Chairman William Kovacic of the FTC, has written a must read critique of antitrust technical assistance titled Lucky Trip? Perspectives from a Foreign Advisor on Competition Policy, Development and Technical Assistance.
ABSTRACT: This article considers how the global community of donor organizations and technical assistance providers is using the opportunity at hand to foster lasting acceptance of economic liberalization in regimes that, not long ago, seemed firmly committed to variants of central economic planning. I am convinced that efforts to promote this economic transformation, and to encourage the political liberalization that is necessary to sustain it, have immense value for developing and developed economies alike. At the same time, I am far less confident that developed economies with the means to facilitate economic and political reforms have either the will to stay at it for the long run or the wisdom to select strategies that are likely to succeed. On the worst days, I fear that inadequate commitments or clumsy implementation will forfeit the possibilities that emerged in the late twentieth century and will haunt us for decades to come.
Choices made in the coming few years will determine whether the pursuit of economic law reform has been a successful journey or an irretrievable disappointment. My theme is that good outcomes require more than mere luck.