This paper is a critical survey of the theoretical and empirical literature on the effects of product market reforms on long run growth. Growth theory and empirics teach us that, for advanced countries, the major determinants of productivity growth in the long run are research and development, human capital, innovation, technological diffusion. Economic theory suggests that economic reforms which affect competition in the product markets can certainly influence these growth drivers, but that the direction of the effects is ambiguous. Empirical evidence does not help to remove such ambiguity: both the literature on micro data and on macro data present inconclusive results. Advocating product market reforms on the basis of their alleged effects on productivity dynamics appears therefore unjustified, both based on theory and empirical evidence.
Keywords: Reforms, Growth, Competition, Productivity