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The Costs and Benefits of Regulation: Implications for Developing Countries

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  • Guasch, J Luis
  • Hahn, Robert W

Abstract

The literature on the benefits and costs of regulation demonstrates that this issue can be explored systematically using standard economic analysis. It also shows that regulation can have a significant adverse impact on economic growth. Specifically, regulation aimed at controlling prices and entry into markets that would otherwise be workably competitive is likely to reduce growth and adversely affect the average standard of living. In addition, process regulation can impose a significant cost on the economy. Nonetheless, social regulations may have significant net benefits for the average consumer if designed judiciously. There are several policies developing countries might consider adopting to improve their general approach to regulation. The appropriate regulatory tools and framework will depend on many factors, including bureaucratic expertise, resource availability, political constraints, and economic impacts. There is a general need to enhance the capability for evaluating regulation at the local and national levels. Copyright 1999 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal World Bank Research Observer.

Volume (Year): 14 (1999)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 137-58

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Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:14:y:1999:i:1:p:137-58

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  1. Christainsen, Gregory B & Haveman, Robert H, 1981. "Public Regulations and the Slowdown in Productivity Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 320-25, May.
  2. Antonio Estache & O. Chisari & C. Romero, 1999. "Winners and Losers from the Privatization and Regulation of Utilities: Lessons from a General Equilibrium Model of Argentina," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/44005, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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  4. Winston, Clifford, 1993. "Economic Deregulation: Days of Reckoning for Microeconomists," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 1263-89, September.
  5. Koedijk, C.G. & Kremers, J., 1996. "Market opening, regulation and growth in Europe," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3108676, Tilburg University.
  6. Jarrell, Gregg A, 1984. "Change at the Exchange: The Causes and Effects of Deregulation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 273-312, October.
  7. Michael L. Katz & Carl Shapiro, 1994. "Systems Competition and Network Effects," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 93-115, Spring.
  8. Klein, Michael, 1996. "Competition in network industries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1591, The World Bank.
  9. Clifford Winston, 1998. "U.S. Industry Adjustment to Economic Deregulation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 89-110, Summer.
  10. Braeutigam, Ronald R & Noll, Roger G, 1984. "The Regulation of Surface Freight Transportation: The Welfare Effects Revisited," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(1), pages 80-87, February.
  11. Robert W. Hahn & Robert E. Litan, 2009. "Improving Regulatory Accountability," Books, American Enterprise Institute, number 24578, December.
  12. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
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  14. Good, David H & Roller, Lars-Hendrik & Sickles, Robin C, 1993. "U.S. Airline Deregulation: Implications for European Transport," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(419), pages 1028-41, July.
  15. Taylor, William E & Taylor, Lester D, 1993. "Postdivestiture Long-Distance Competition in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 185-90, May.
  16. Hazilla, Michael & Kopp, Raymond J, 1990. "Social Cost of Environmental Quality Regulations: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 853-73, August.
  17. Tracy R. Lewis, 1996. "Protecting the Environment When Costs and Benefits Are Privately Known," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(4), pages 819-847, Winter.
  18. S. J. Liebowitz & Stephen E. Margolis, 1994. "Network Externality: An Uncommon Tragedy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 133-150, Spring.
  19. McMullen, B Starr & Stanley, Linda R, 1988. "The Impact of Deregulation on the Production Structure of the Motor Carrier Industry," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(2), pages 299-316, April.
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