ARTICLE: NATIONAL COMPETITION AUTHORITIES - SCRUTINY - PERFORMANCE - RESOURCES - BENEFITS - INSTITUTIONAL REFORMS - PAY-OFF

Performance of national competition authorities: A method for assessment

As public and regulatory institutions, National Competition Authorities are increasingly under the scrutiny of democratic bodies in order to assess their performance. We present a simple methodology that could be widely applied and a case study. This case, referring to the first term of the Portuguese Competition Authority (2003-2007) shows that for each euro of resources used it generated benefits of at least 20 euros. This case also shows that institutional reforms, that are hardly quantifiable, can have a large pay-off.

I. Introduction 1. National Competition Agencies (NCAs) are usually non-governmental administrative institutions entrusted with the enforcement of competition law and competition policies. They are part of the regulatory branch of the State but most of its work is not regulatory in the proper sense. They make targeted interventions in markets in order to improve their efficiency with a final view of increasing consumer welfare. But they do not carry out inspections or in general other routine interventions to ensure that particular businesses or sectors comply with particular sets of rules and standards. Most of NCAs analyse and study markets to formulate competition policy, enforce competition and sometimes consumer protection law and undertake advocacy to correct state

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Authors

  • Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
  • Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Quotation

Jorge Rodrigues, Paulo Gonçalves, Abel Mateus, Performance of national competition authorities: A method for assessment, September 2008, Concurrences N° 3-2008, Art. N° 19895, pp. 40-54

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