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Repo, P. & P. TimonenRegime market performance analysis: Informing European consumer policy

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Authors:
Petteri Repo & Päivi Timonen

Release date:
March 2017

Publication:
Journal of Consumer Policy, Volume 40, Issue 1, pages 125-143

The Single Market of the European Union has progressed during recent decades to encompass more than 500 million consumers in 28 EU Member States and adjoining countries. During the same period, consumer issues have received growing policy interest and policy measures have been put in place to harmonize the Single Market, that is, to make national markets more alike. Yet, in order to provide policy measures that promote desirable market outcomes, the considerable challenge of understanding differences in the market performances of participating countries and the relationships between national markets and the Single Market need to be addressed. Consequently, this article proposes the consideration of differences in terms of regimes, that is, between groups of similar countries, when assessing the performances of markets. Differences in market performances are analyzed with the Kruskal–Wallis test using survey data from the European Commission, and results were reviewed against market studies carried out by the Commission. Findings show that regime differences in market performance can indeed be observed and that the regime approach can draw policy attention to commonalities in market arrangements in addition to the consumer issues conventionally examined, such as price differences and consumer awareness.

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