Opposing liberalization in retail – Italy vs India

Gulzar points to this interesting comparison. It seems there has been opposition in Italy as well over liberalization of  retail market. India opposed FDI in retail and  Italy opposed  more flexible hours in opening/closing of retail shops!!

However in India it may have some justification, in Italy it just seems to be anti-competitive.

Though in both countries, the major source of opposition to liberalized and deregulated retail trade is the fear of competition from major retail chains driving out the smaller mom-and-pop traders, the underlying concerns are very different. In India, the fear is that, given the large share of population being involved in small hand-to-mouth retail trade (kirana shops), there would be massive labour market dislocation that would undermine the country’s social stability. In Italy, the concerns are driven by mom-and-pop traders unwilling to forego their secure and comfortable professions and let large retail chains intrude into their markets.

In simple terms, while in the former, the opposition may have a very compelling economic argument, in the latter case, it is plain anti-competitive. 

Need to read more on this.

Well, in many ways Italian political system, culture  etc is similar to India. There used to be a presentation which showed how countries in Europe differed with respect to politics and parking. In both Italian systems are an outlier (Greece wasnt there in the list). In politics no Italian left the chair and in parking it was all over the place. We see so much similar things in India. And then one keeps getting videos of chair throwing etc in Italian parliaments etc which again is so similar to India. My friends who have been to Italy tell me one has to be as careful touring Italy as one has to be in India. There are people cheating you all around…And now we have Prime Ministers who were once top economists….

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