Explaining and Assessing Independence: National competition authorities in the EU member states
Title: Explaining and Assessing Independence: National competition authorities in the EU member states
Author: GUIDI, Mattia
Series/Report no.: EUI PhD theses; Department of Political and Social Sciences
This Ph.D dissertation aims at answering two questions, which are closely related to each other: 1. How do politicians decide about the independence they give to regulatory agencies? 2. Is there a link between the amount of independence which an agency enjoys and the way in which it performs its tasks? The first question investigates the factors that lead politicians to delegate in the field of competition policy. The second question concerns, more broadly, the relationship between costs and benefits of delegation. This dissertation focuses on national competition authorities (NCAs) in the EU member states, being antitrust one of the few really “European” policies, enforced in the same way in all the countries by the European Commission and by the NCAs. The main empirical analysis (Chapter 3) tests a theoretical framework, based on both original hypotheses and previous contributions. In order to measure formal independence, an index based on several features of agency autonomy has been developed. The results confirm the two original hypotheses advanced in this work. On the one hand, the degree of independence of NCAs is influenced by political polarisation and by the presence of big firms in the national economy (the higher the polarisation, the higher the negative impact of big firms on independence). On the other hand, independence is related to EU membership: the longer the country has been member of the EU, the more independent the NCA is. These findings have been “cross-checked” with a series of interviews with expert and members of competition authorities in France, Italy, and Greece (Chapter 4). In Chapter 5, the hypothesis of a relationship between independence and performance has been tested. According to the results of this statistical analysis, greater formal independence leads competition authorities to investigate more cases and to issue more decisions.
Defence date: 28 May 2012; Examining Board: Professor Adrienne Héritier, European University Institute (supervisor); Professor Mark Franklin, European University Institute; Professor Jacint Jordana, Universitat Pompeu Fabra; Professor Andreas Dür, Universität Salzburg.; This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
Type of Access: openAccess