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Regulatory Races: The Effects of Jurisdictional Competition on Regulatory Standards

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  • Bruce G. Carruthers
  • Naomi R. Lamoreaux

Abstract

This article surveys the literature on regulatory arbitrage in four settings: labor regulation, environmental protection, corporate governance, and banking and finance. For a regulatory race to occur, firms must migrate across state or country borders in response to geographic differences in the costs and benefits of regulation, and governments must shape their regulatory policies with the aim of affecting those migration flows. We find that both these conditions hold only in rare circumstances. Instead, the much more common outcome is for political pressures within jurisdictions to produce a heterogeneous pattern resembling Tiebout sorting. Such regulatory convergence as occurs is more often the result of deliberate harmonization or imitation. ( JEL G18, G28, G38, H73, J08, L51, Q58)

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce G. Carruthers & Naomi R. Lamoreaux, 2016. "Regulatory Races: The Effects of Jurisdictional Competition on Regulatory Standards," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(1), pages 52-97, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:54:y:2016:i:1:p:52-97
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.54.1.52
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    2. Boyer, Pierre C. & Kempf, Hubert, 2020. "Regulatory arbitrage and the efficiency of banking regulation," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 41(C).
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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