Competition policy and labor productivity growth: some new evidence

  • Kelly Benetatou
  • Yannis KatsoulacosEmail author
  • Ekaterini Kyriazidou
  • Galateia Makri


This article contributes to the empirical literature on the impact of competition policy on labor productivity (LP) growth, focusing specifically on EU countries. We capture the quality of competition policy by the Competition Policy Indices (CPIs), proposed, constructed and used recently by Buccirossi et al. (J Compet Law Econ 7:165–204, 2011; Rev Econ Stat 95(4):1324–1336, 2013). We construct these indices also for Greece for the period 1995–2013 and use them to study the effect of competition policy on LP growth in 22 industries for a set of 10 EU countries. We find that the CPI has a positive and statistically significant effect on LP growth. Most importantly, we also investigate possible heterogeneity of this effect by separating the countries of our sample in two groups, Laggards and Leaders. We find that the effect of the CPI on LP growth for the Laggards is about three times as large as the effect estimated for all ten countries in our sample, while it is very small and statistically insignificant for the Leaders. Finally, when we estimate the effect only for Greece the coefficient increases substantially although it is estimated quite imprecisely, reinforcing our finding that gains from increasing the quality of competition policy and making product market competition more effective are to be reaped mainly by countries for which there is the greatest scope for improving the effectiveness of product market competition.


Competition policy Labor productivity Productivity growth Institutions 

JEL Classification

L4 K21 L40 O47 



We would like to thank Paolo Buccirossi, Giancarlo Spagnolo and Cristiana Vitale for very useful discussions in relation to the data used and more generally the subject of the paper as well as for providing the data relating to the CPI. We also thank the HCC staff for productive collaboration. Alexandros Louka provided excellent research assistance. Finally, we are grateful to the three referees and the editor for insightful comments and suggestions that greatly improved the paper. This research has been co-funded by the European Union (European Social Fund—ESF) and the Greek Ministry of Education through the Operational Program “Education and Lifelong Learning” of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF)—Research Funding Program: ΑRISTEIA-CoLEG.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kelly Benetatou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yannis Katsoulacos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ekaterini Kyriazidou
    • 1
  • Galateia Makri
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsAthens University of Economics and BusinessAthensGreece
  2. 2.Hellenic Competition CommissionAthensGreece

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