Assessing the validity of the Structure, Conduct and Performance paradigm as theoretical framework for the application of competition policy in the long-term insurance sector of South Africa

Blaauw, Petrus Arnoldus (2001-12)

Thesis (MComm.)--University of Stellenbosch, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In the recent past the industrialised world bore witness to staggering growth in the secondary and tertiary sectors of the economy. In the face of this growth process economic theory had to confront new challenges in explaining and interpreting economic phenomena. The complex nature of inter- and intra-firm relationships forced a pragmatic stance on policy makers to ensure that all actions are efficient and competitive. Two prominent schools of thought with contradictory viewpoints emerged. The Structuralists built upon the foundations laid by Bain (1951) and Mason (1939). This implied a theoretical framework, namely the Structure, Conduct and Perofrmance paradigm (SCP paradigm) that could be used to explain inter- and intra-firm relations according to a simple forward causality argument. The Structuralists' interpretation of the SCP paradigm provides strong support for the implementation of deconcentration measures by competition authorities. The Chicago School, however, developed a counter-argument inspired by Demsetz's (1973) efficiency hypothesis. According to them, causality is reversed and deconcentration measures are used at the expense of the most efficient firms. The thesis aims to study these contradictory arguments as well as their evolution in South Africa. Various researchers in South Africa have built on the arguments of the Structuralists and the Chicagoans regarding the manufacturing sector. The theoretical methods implemented by them will be applied to the long-term insurance industry to assess the validity of the SCP paradigm as a theoretical framework for the application of competition policy.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Fenomenale groei in die sekondêre en tersiêre sektore van die ekonomie het nuwe uitdagings ter verklaring en interpretering van inter- en intra-ondernemingsverhoudinge verskaf. Die komplekse aard van die verhoudinge het 'n pragmatiese aanslag ter versekering van effektiwiteit deur beleidmakers genoodsaak. Twee prominente denkskole met teenstrydige argumente het ontstaan. Die Strukturaliste het hulle sieninge op die werk van Bain (1951) en Mason (1939) gebaseer. Hierdie teorieë verwys na 'n teoretiese raamwerk, naamlik die Struktuur, Gedrag en Prestasie paradigma (SGP paradigma), wat gebruik kan word om inter- en intra-ondernemingsverhoudinge aan die hand van 'n kousaliteitsvloei van struktuur na prestasie, te verklaar. Die Strukturaliste se interpretasie van die SGP paradigma verskaf ondersteuning Vir die implementering van 'n dekonsentrasiebeleid deur mededingingsowerhede. Die Chicago Skool het 'n argument ontwikkel wat op die effektiwiteitshipotese van Demsetz (1973) gebaseer is. Volgens hulle beweeg kousaliteit in die teenoorgestelde rigting as wat die Strukturaliste beweer en straf dekonsentrasiemaatreëls die mees effektiewe ondernemings. Hierdie werkstuk het ten doelom hierdie argumente sowel as die evolusie daarvan in die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks te ondersoek. Verskeie navorsers in Suid-Afrika het op argumente van dié twee denkskole ten opsigte van die vervaardingingsektor voortgebou. Die teoretiese metodiek wat deur hulle ontwikkel is, sal aangewend word om die geldigheid van die SGP paradigma as die teoretiese raamwerk vir die aanwending van 'n mededingingsbeleid in die langtermyn-versekeringsbedryf van Suid-Afrika vas te stel.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52139
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