Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Paul Conway (OECD), Richard Herd (OECD), Thomas Chalaux (OECD), Ping He (National Bureau of Statistics, China), and Jianxun Yu (National Bureau of Statistics, China) explain Product Market Regulation and Competition in China.
ABSTRACT: The extent of competition in product markets is an important determinant of economic growth in both developed and developing countries. This paper uses the 2008 vintage of the OECD indicators of product market regulation to assess the extent to which China’s regulatory environment is supportive of competition in markets for goods and services. The results indicate that, although competition is increasingly robust across most markets, the overall level of product market regulation is still restrictive in international comparison. These impediments to competition are likely to constrain economic growth as the Chinese economy continues to develop and becomes more sophisticated. The paper goes on to review various aspects of China’s regulatory framework and suggests a number of policy initiatives that would improve the extent to which competitive market forces are able to operate. Breaking the traditional links between s! tate-owned enterprises and government agencies is an ongoing challenge. Reducing administrative burdens, increasing private sector involvement in network sectors and lowering barriers to foreign direct investment in services would also increase competition and enhance productivity growth going forward. Some of the reforms introduced by the Chinese government over the past two years go in this direction and should therefore help foster growth. This paper relates to the 2010 OECD Economic Review of China (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/china).