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Regulatory reform in retail distribution


  • Olivier Boylaud
  • Giuseppe Nicoletti


The main purpose of this paper is to analyse cross-country differences in the regulation of the retail distribution industry in the OECD area, focusing on the situation in 1998. Regulatory differences are cast against changes in the industry environment to highlight the potential interactions between regulation and market forces. A number of countries have extensively liberalised market access and price and service regulations. In some countries there is currently a tendency to introduce access restrictions for large outlets. In other countries market access has been traditionally hindered by restrictive regulations and administrative burdens. The available empirical evidence suggests that regulations that restrict shop opening hours and hinder access by imposing special requirements for outlet registration, siting and/or size thresholds curb the dynamism of the industry (e.g. lowering entry and exit rates, and preventing restructuring and modernisation) and competitive pressures, leading to lower employment growth and higher consumer prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Boylaud & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 2003. "Regulatory reform in retail distribution," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2001(1), pages 253-274.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecokaa:5lmqcr2k298s

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    Cited by:

    1. Maican, Florin & Orth, Matilda, 2008. "Productivity Dynamics and the Role of “Big-Box” Entrants in Retailing," Working Papers in Economics 328, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    2. Senftleben-König, Charlotte, 2014. "Product Market Deregulation and Employment Outcomes: Evidence from the German Retail Sector," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100539, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Viviano, Eliana, 2008. "Entry regulations and labour market outcomes: Evidence from the Italian retail trade sector," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1200-1222, December.
    4. Aydin Celen & Tarkan Erdogan & Tarkan Erdogan, 2005. "Fast Moving Consumer Goods: Competitive Conditions and Policies," ERC Working Papers 0503, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Jun 2005.
    5. Maican, Florin & Orth, ´Matilda, 2013. "Entry Regulations, Product Differentiation and Determinants of Market Structure," Working Paper Series 984, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    6. Andrea Vaona & Guido Ascari, 2012. "Regional Inflation Persistence: Evidence from Italy," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(4), pages 509-523, June.
    7. Charlotte Senftleben-König, 2014. "Product Market Deregulation and Employment Outcomes: Evidence from the German Retail Sector," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2014-013, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    8. Kenn Ariga & Kenji Matsui, 2003. "Mismeasurement of the CPI," NBER Chapters,in: Structural Impediments to Growth in Japan, pages 89-154 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Carsten Eckel, 2009. "International Trade and Retailing," CESifo Working Paper Series 2597, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. V. Baugnet & D. Cornille & E. Dhyne & B. Robert, 2009. "Regulation and competition in the distribution sector in Belgium," Economic Review, National Bank of Belgium, issue iii, pages 33-57, September.
    11. Maican, Florin & Orth, Matilda, 2015. "A dynamic analysis of entry regulations and productivity in retail trade," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 67-80.
    12. Cristina Suárez & Justo Jorge, 2010. "Efficiency convergence processes and effects of regulation in the nonspecialized retail sector in Spain," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 44(3), pages 573-597, June.
    13. Bonanno, Alessandro & Castellari, Elena & Scockai, Paolo, 2014. "The Effect of Trade Liberalization on Food Retail Structure and Food Price Levels in Italy: an Empirical Analysis," 2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 182762, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    14. Mitsukuni Nishida, 2014. "The costs of zoning regulations in retail chains: the case of the City Planning Act of 1968 in Japan," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 305-328, June.
    15. David Flath, 2003. "Regulation, Distribution Efficiency, and Retail Density," NBER Working Papers 9450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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