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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.
This chapter argues that participation in voluntary programs can facilitate ongoing quality competition, enabling a race. It advances a theory of self-regulatory competition that may sustain this race. From this perspective, programs can be designed to facilitate a race to the top despite tendencies for label managers to compete for the lowest common denominator or for firms to greenwash and strategically overrepresent their environmental performance. Building on the premise underpinning demonstration projects improving supply chains and facilitating uptake of new technologies, it highlights how ecolabel programs can help transform markets. Once a market becomes crowded, new standards can be set, raising the bar for building performance. Data from the LEED program demonstrate that, over time, organizations and especially private firms invest additional resources to attain higher certification tiers, becoming greener as part of a race to the top in a voluntary, green building certification program.
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.
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