An Investigation of OECD Recommendations and the Australian Experience

29 March 2023

By Hanna Jez 


In May 2021, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) adopted a recommendation that governments ‘ensure competitive neutrality to the maximum extent practicable and unless overriding Public Policy Objectives require otherwise.’ 

Professor Deborah Healey, Dr Xue Bai and Dr Rhonda Smith of the University of Melbourne Law School have authored an article exploring ‘Competitive Neutrality: OECD Recommendations and the Australian Experience' in the Journal of Competition Law & Economics.  

The authors discuss the practical issues surrounding the formal implementation of competitive neutrality in a jurisdiction using the well-established Australian framework as an exemplar. By analysing the strengths and weaknesses of the Australian system, the article aims to assist other jurisdictions seeking to implement the OECD Recommendation.  

Deborah, Xue, and Rhonda’s research hopes to inform business communities affected by an uneven playing field why competitive neutrality policy is relevant and how it can help them. Competitive neutrality, if properly applied, can also improve the quality, range and prices of goods and services available to Australians. 

The authors have submitted their research to the Review of Competitive Neutrality by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) of NSW. IPART is currently reviewing the scope and effectiveness of the NSW competitive neutrality policies and processes. The OECD Competition Division, responsible for the competitive neutrality recommendation, has also received this article.  

This article is available here

Professor Deborah Healey’s research can be found on the University website, SSRN, ResearchGate and LinkedIn. 

Dr Xue Bai’s research can be found on the University website, SSRN, and LinkedIn.