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Structural Reforms Without Prejudices$
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Tito Boeri, Micael Castanheira, Riccardo Faini, and Vincenzo Galasso

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199203628

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199203628.001.0001

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(p.17) 1 Introduction
Structural Reforms Without Prejudices

Tito Boeri (Contributor Webpage)

Micael Castanheira

Riccardo Faini

Vincenzo Galasso (Contributor Webpage)

Giorgio Barba Navaretti

Carcillo Stéphane

Jonathan Haskel

Giuseppe Nicoletti

Enrico Perotti

Carlo Scarpa

Lidia Tsyganok

Christian Wey

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the first part of the book, which examines the question: do product market reforms contribute to Europe's poor growth and productivity record? The key finding is that although reforms are difficult to implement and do not always deliver the expected gains, particularly in the short term, deregulation of services in all three countries analysed is found to be associated with faster productivity growth and competitiveness both in the service sector and in the rest of the economy. This latter result is largely due to the fact that services play a much more pervasive role in the overall economy than generally acknowledged as they have a significant input into non-service activities like manufacturing and agriculture. Consequently, changes in efficiency, quality, and costs of services delivered trickle down to large competitive gains in the overall economy. The bottom line is that liberalization in services has the potential to bring large welfare gains and governments need to persevere in their effort to reform the service sector.

Keywords:   Europe, market reforms, structural reform, growth, productivity

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