Efficiency, productivity and ... fairness: An analysis of the Harper Review into Australia's competition policy

O'Keeffe, P 2015, 'Efficiency, productivity and ... fairness: An analysis of the Harper Review into Australia's competition policy', in Theresa Petray and Anne Stephenson (ed.) Proceedings of the 2015 TASA Conference (TASA 2015), Cairns, Australia, 23-26 November 2015, pp. 169-176.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title Efficiency, productivity and ... fairness: An analysis of the Harper Review into Australia's competition policy
Author(s) O'Keeffe, P
Year 2015
Conference name TASA 2015: Neoliberalism and contemporary challenges for the Asia-Pacific
Conference location Cairns, Australia
Conference dates 23-26 November 2015
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 2015 TASA Conference (TASA 2015)
Editor(s) Theresa Petray and Anne Stephenson
Publisher The Australian Sociological Association (TASA)
Place of publication Hawthorn, Australia
Start page 169
End page 176
Total pages 8
Abstract In December 2013 the recently elected Australian Government commissioned a review into Australia's national competition policy. The review panel, chaired by Professor Ian Harper, published their final report in March 2015. This paper provides an analysis of the Harper Review, which has the overarching objective of ensuring that markets work in the interests of consumers (Harper, Anderson, McCluskey and O'Bryan 2015, p.7). The key assumptions which underpin the Harper Review are that competition is the most effective means of achieving efficiency, while a more efficient and productive economy will deliver a range of outcomes for consumers, such as increased choice. Furthermore, this emphasis on efficiency, while placing less importance on market concentration, does not adequately consider the power that can be exercised by corporations with a high market share. This analysis hinges on the belief that "the disciplines of a competitive market" will be sufficient to ensure that corporations do act in such a way that the assumed benefits of competition filter through society (Harper et al. 2015, p.15). This focus crowds out alternate values, while providing limited conceptions of power, equity, and social welfare, within the framework of competition and efficiency.
Subjects Public Policy
Heterodox Economics
Keyword(s) Competition
Competition Policy
Neoliberalism
Consumer Welfare
Harper Review
Copyright notice © TASA 2015
ISBN 9780646947983
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