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Self-regulation and governmental oversight: a theoretical and experimental study


  • Silvester Koten

    (Jan Evangelista Purkyně University (FSE-UJEP))


A self-regulatory organization (SRO) is a non-governmental organization owned and operated by its members, with the power to create and enforce industry regulations and standards for its members. A key question is whether oversight by an SRO can replace governmental oversight, or whether supplementary governmental oversight is necessary. Using a formal model for the financial sector, and solving simultaneous games, I show that a lack of commitment by the SRO may necessitate governmental oversight of both SRO members and the SRO itself. The core of the model is supported by economics experiments.

Suggested Citation

  • Silvester Koten, 2021. "Self-regulation and governmental oversight: a theoretical and experimental study," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 59(2), pages 161-174, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:regeco:v:59:y:2021:i:2:d:10.1007_s11149-020-09421-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s11149-020-09421-0

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jos頌uis Lima & Javier Nú, 2015. "Does self-regulation work? Experimental evidence of the reputational incentives of Self-Regulatory Organizations," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(41), pages 4423-4441, September.
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    3. Maxwell, John W & Lyon, Thomas P & Hackett, Steven C, 2000. "Self-Regulation and Social Welfare: The Political Economy of Corporate Environmentalism," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 583-617, October.
    4. Peter M. DeMarzo & Michael J. Fishman & Kathleen M. Hagerty, 2005. "Self-Regulation and Government Oversight," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 72(3), pages 687-706.
    5. Alekseev, Aleksandr & Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri, 2017. "Experimental methods: When and why contextual instructions are important," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 48-59.
    6. Silvester Van Koten & Andreas Ortmann, 2016. "Self-Regulatory Organizations under the Shadow of Governmental Oversight: An Experimental Investigation," Research in Experimental Economics, in: Experiments in Organizational Economics, volume 19, pages 85-104, Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
    7. Smith, Vernon L, 1976. "Experimental Economics: Induced Value Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 274-279, May.
    8. Javier Núñez, 2007. "Can self regulation work?: a story of corruption, impunity and cover-up," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 209-233, April.
    9. Silvester Van Koten & Andreas Ortmann, 2013. "Self-regulating organizations under the shadow of governmental oversight: An experimental investigation," Discussion Papers 2013-13, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    10. Plott, Charles R, 1982. "Industrial Organization Theory and Experimental Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 1485-1527, December.
    11. Carson, John, 2011. "Self-regulation in securities markets," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5542, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ismail Saglam, 2023. "Incentives of a monopolist for innovation under regulatory threat," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 41-66, March.

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    More about this item


    Self-regulatory organizations; Meta-regulation; Governmental oversight; Simultaneous versus sequential games; Economics experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • K20 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - General
    • L44 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Antitrust Policy and Public Enterprise, Nonprofit Institutions, and Professional Organizations


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