Regulating Competition in Professional Service Markets
in OECD Member States
In a post-industry era, the economic output of the service sectors exceeds that of the manufacturing. Among the service sectors, the professional services provided by lawyers, accountants and architects are of the most importance, economically speaking. Yet, in absolute contrast to their economic weight, professional services have traditionally been exempted from the otherwise applicable competition laws and are subject to the autonomous rules of professional associations or the supervision of regulatory agencies which, during the times when the need for such services was low and therefore competition less, served to maintain the quality of such services and to promote the ethics and creditability of the professions. However, in the wake of the internationalization of the world economy, both the quality and quantity of service demand has risen sharply, which has resulted in white-hot competition among professionals. The commercialization of professional services and the need by professionals for commercial capital and business-like management skills are undeniable facts. Thus, the irreversible trend is that of the laws of market competition prevailing over the rules of the professions. Although Chinese Taipei is on its way to becoming a developed country and its economy is entering the post-industrial stage, its norms regarding professionals are quite out-of-date. Consequently, the services provided by professionals of Chinese Taipei cannot satisfy the overall transitional needs of its economy. This paper intends to study the trend of OECD policy on professionals and that of two of its main members, namely the U.S.A. and Germany, in order to lay solid groundwork for the coming reforms of regulation in Chinese Taipei in this respect.
Updated at：2008-12-19 08:03:53