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The Second Wave of Latin American Competition Law and Policy

 |  December 16, 2015

Posted by Social Science Research Network

The Second Wave of Latin American Competition Law and Policy D. Daniel Sokol (University of Florida)

Abstract: Latin America as a region has had a somewhat bumpy development in its competition law and policy evolution. Latin America suffered from statist economic policies into the 1990s and lagged behind US, American and East Asian development. Modern competition law development in Latin America began during a period of growth and economic liberalization to exit statist policies. This period was known as the era of the Washington Consensus. In just a few years, the tone within Latin America had changed at the macro-economic level. Populist governments had taken power in Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, and elsewhere in a backlash against the Washington Consensus. This backlash extended to competition law and policy.

The current era of competition law and policy in Latin America has some clear winners. Those systems that have shown improved results seem to share common attributes. The first is a deeper embrace of economic analysis.

A second factor that has improved competition law and policy has been a focus on end consumer related enforcement. The final factor that has changed competition law enforcement effectiveness is that institutional issues that plagued enforcement efforts in the earlier period have been somewhat resolved. As such, the institutional structures of competition enforcement have been recalibrated (and continue to do so) across the region to address the specific needs of the countries in question given their country level institutional backdrops.