A critical exposé of competition policy in selected African and Caribbean countries

  • A Vindelyn Smith-Hillman

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The disproportionate power base held by a few dominant firms within an industry provides the basis for market abuse through, price-fixing and/or market sharing arrangements or other discriminatory practices. Societal welfare benefits are believed to derive from a competitive market hence the justification for competition policy to regulate firm behaviour consistent with a competitive outcome. The imposition of fines and/or imprisonment is the prescribed means used in its enforcement. Whilst Western industrialised economies have a long-established tradition of competition policy, it is not unproblematic. Most developing economies have fairly recently embarked on this journey and are discovering the extent to which issues can arise. Global research has centred on long-standing national competition policies and relied on economics principles to explain performance. The research presented in this investigation pursues an inter-disciplinary approach in the examination of the African and Caribbean experience. Multiple case studies provide the socio-economic context and the rich detail enabling generalisations of the environmental impact on the efficacy of competition policy. The research incorporates non-economic factors — governance and ethics — in addition to structural issues. The findings assign a critical role to governance in enabling the success of competition policy. Notwithstanding the limited database to economies which have both a competition policy and sufficient data, the investigation remains of relevance to both practitioners and academics. The research facilitates global discussion beyond strictly economic principles to embrace greater consideration of institutional arrangements in policy design. In particular the findings provide policy-makers in developing countries with a clear indication of critical determining factors impacting on competition policy efficacy and provides the basis for improved policy design
Date of Award2008
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Northampton
SupervisorNada K Kakabadse (Supervisor)

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