The poverty of Competition law
The analysis of competition policy during economic crisis is motivated by the fact that competition is a key factor in productivity levels. The latter, in turn, influences the scope and length of economic recession. In many Russian markets, buyers’ gains decline because of weak competition, since suppliers are reluctant to cut prices despite decreasing demand. Data on prices in Russia and abroad in the second half of 2008 show asymmetric price rigidity. At least two questions are important in an economic crisis: the “division of labor” between proactive and protective tools of competition policy and the impact of anticrisis policy on competition. Protective competition policy is insufficient in a transition economy, especially during a crisis, and it should be supplemented with well-designed industrial policy measures that do not contradict the goals of competition. The preferred tools of anticrisis policy are those that do not restrain competition.
Beer was the drink of choice in many ancient societies and throughout the past centuries in large parts of the world. Right now, it is globally by far the most important alcoholic drink, in volume and value terms. The largest brewing companies have developed into global multinationals. The beer market is characterized by strong growth in emerging economies, by a substantial decline of (per capita) beer consumption in traditional markets, and a shift to new products. There has been a strong interaction between governments (politics) and markets (economics) in the beer industry. For centuries, taxes on beer or its raw materials were a major source of tax revenue for governments. Governments have also regulated the beer industry for reasons related to quality, health, and competition. The beer market is not only an interesting sector to study in itself but also yields important general economic insights. This book is the first economic analysis of the beer market and brewing industry. It comprises a comprehensive and unique set of economic research and analysis on the economics of beer and brewing. The various chapters cover economic history and development, demand and supply, trade and investment, geography and scale economies, technology and innovation, health and nutrition, quantity and quality, industrial organization and competition, taxation and regulation, and regional beer market developments.
Competition and the State analyzes the role of the state across a number of dimensions as it relates to competition law and policy across a number of dimensions. This book re-conceptualizes the interaction between competition law and government activities in light of the profound transformation of the conception of state action in recent years by looking to the challenges of privatization, new public management, and public-private partnerships. It then asks whether there is a substantive legal framework that might be put in place to address competition issues as they relate to the role of the state. Various chapters also provide case studies of national experiences. The volume also examines one of the most highly controversial policy issues within the competition and regulatory sphere—the role of competition law and policy in the financial sector.