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With the exception of India and Pakistan, South Asian countries have yet to properly implement their competition laws and policies. This chapter explores ways in which the implementation gap may be bridged, focusing on factors which may motivate governments or competition authorities in these countries to engage more meaningfully with competition enforcement and also considering strategies for doing so. The chapter argues that governments and competition authorities are more likely to support competition enforcement in their contexts if they are convinced of its potential to help them realise their goals of economic and social developmental goals. It also observes these countries’ growing engagement in the digital economy for its potential for growth and development and explores the role of competition enforcement for regulating e-commerce platforms. Finally, the chapter considers how the South Asian countries may learn from each other, and strategies for competition enforcement.
How do subnational agents exercise policy discretion in the social welfare sphere? To what extent do they do so as a result of various bureaucratic and fiscal incentives? The literature has documented several explanatory frameworks in the context of China that predominantly focus on the realm of developmental policies. Owing to the salient characteristics of the social policy arena, local adaptation of centrally designed policies may operate on distinctive logics. This study synthesizes the recent scholarship on subnational social policymaking and explains the significant interregional disparities in China's de facto urban poverty line – the eligibility standard of the urban minimum livelihood guarantee scheme, or dibao. Five research hypotheses are formulated for empirical examination: fiscal power effect, population effect, fiscal dependency effect, province effect and neighbour effect. Quantitative analysis of provincial-level panel data largely endorses the hypotheses. The remarkable subnational variations in dibao standards are explained by a salient constellation of fiscal and political factors that are embedded within the country's complex intergovernmental relations and fiscal arrangements. Both a race-to-the-top and a race-to-the-bottom may be fostered by distinctive mechanisms. The unique role of provincial governments as intermediary agents within China's political apparatus is illuminated in the social policy arena.
Perhaps what it most important from this chapter is the conclusion, from empirical data, that economic development is not an adversary of environmental protection, but rather that the two appear to be mutually reinforcing in many cases. Furthermore, there is no fundamental theoretical reason from a Law and Economics perspective that economic growth and environmental protections need be adversarial, especially if the lessons of Pigou, Coase, and Calabresi are well respected along the way.
Since its suggestion in the early 1990’s, Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) supposition holds that beyond an early stage of economic development, that increasing levels of per capita income will be associated with improving environmental qualities or services – that economic development favors environmental protection. There are various assumptions of why this empirical relationship is found; (i) wealthier citizens are better educated and seek better environmental conditions, (ii) wealthier citizens seek to consume higher quality environmental services, (iii) higher level economies shift towards increasingly proportions of service based economies, which are lighter on environmental impacts, or (iv) the Porter Hypothesis, that greener technologies are actually more efficient in a capitalist sense and thus higher per capita income should be associated with greener economies.
The proper division of responsibility for environmental protection between national and state governments has long been the subject of fierce debate. During the 1970s the United States Congress decided to shift the most important environmental responsibilities from state governments to the federal government. The main reason for this decision was to prevent a ‘race to the bottom’ in that states competing for industries could otherwise be lax in implementing and enforcing federal environmental standards. Yet, some scholars have argued that there could just as easily be a ‘race to the top’ among states as they compete to attract people and businesses concerned with environmental protection. China, in turn, is plagued with severe air and water pollution and soil contamination, which is attributed largely to ineffective enforcement of its national environmental laws. This article investigates whether China’s experience confirms the race-to-the-bottom theory. It demonstrates that devolution of responsibility for environmental protection to lower levels of government tends to result in lax implementation and enforcement of national environmental laws, particularly where national governments also create strong incentives for economic growth. It concludes that China’s highly devolved system of environmental governance is consistent with this theory, even if it does not provide conclusive evidence of its correctness.
This article addresses the question what will be the impact of the recently admitted choice of corporate law in Europe and how regulators can and should react.
Drawing on the empirical evidence and theoretical insights produced in the abundant debate on charter competition in the United States, this article argues that the European scenario differs significantly from the American one. A look at the most relevant differences and an analysis of European incorporators' incentives leads to the conclusion that no Member State occupies at present, or has proper incentives and political manoeuvring space to assume in the future, a similarly preponderant position like the winner of the historical American competition for corporate charters. Although the individual preferences of decision-makers may motivate some cross-border (re)incorporations, no dominant State of incorporation will emerge in the European Union in the medium term.
Synthesised with the possible restraints Member States can put on corporate law arbitrage, the important conclusion to be drawn from a public policy perspective is that, in the European context, some forces arguably accountable for a socially undesirable pro-managerial tilt in the American market for corporate charters are not present. Thus, the case for remedying centralised legislation is harder to make in the European Union. Some of the prospective and existing harmonisation, even if only providing minimum standards, has to be reassessed from this perspective.
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