As countries large and small, rich and poor are drawn inexorably into the global economy, protectionist policies are proving increasingly inefficient and ineffective for driving growth. The countries of Latin America, which have long pursued agendas of state ownership and heavy regulation of key industries, began to institute a series of reforms in the 1980s and 1990s, designed to promote competition and business creation. However, without the legal and institutional framework to support these policies (and thus guarantee resource-efficient behavior on the part of business owners), the record has been spotty at best.
Competition Policies in Emerging Economies features in-depth analysis of two key industries—telecommunications and banking—in several Central American nations to shed light on the dynamics of the transition to deregulation and trade liberalization, and learn from the experiences of these economies. This book has a three-fold purpose: (1) to examine the competition conditions and policies of small developing countries of Central America (and hence cover an area where very little information exists); (2) develop an in-depth analysis of regulation and competition policies in two key industrial sectors with poor competition records (telecommunications and banking); (3) link the former results analysis with other international experiences, in order to derive research and policy recommendations that can be applied to other small, developing, and emerging economies. Featuring discussion of political, legal, economic, financial, cultural, and organization-level issues, the book provides unique perspectives on the forces resisting competitive practices and offers suggestions for overcoming them.