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Regulatory Reform, Capture, and the Regulatory Burden

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  • Dieter Helm

Abstract

This paper provides a critique of broad aggregate proposals to reduce the regulatory burden. It argues that the public debate about regulatory reform and red tape is loose and general, with little regard for the complex ways in which regulation imposes costs and benefits on the economy. Although there are theoretical reasons to expect regulation to be in excess supply, there is little empirical analysis to link aggregate regulation with productivity and economic growth. Regulation is itself a public good, and many aspects of economic efficiency require regulation to address market failures. The main efficiency issues are better addressed through a disaggregated approach, focusing on when, where, and how to regulate, rather than on crude aggregate estimates of the total burden. The design of regulation needs to take account of regulatory capture, and it is argued that market-based instruments and independent regulatory bodies tend to reduce the scope for capture. The incentives and employment rules governing regulatory institutions are also discussed. In ignoring these disaggregated regulatory design problems, crude aggregate targets for the reduction of regulation, and rules such as 'one in, one out' may be counter-productive. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Dieter Helm, 2006. "Regulatory Reform, Capture, and the Regulatory Burden," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(2), pages 169-185, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:22:y:2006:i:2:p:169-185
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    Cited by:

    1. Andr�s J. Drew, 2010. "New rules, new politics, same actors � explaining policy change in the EU ETS," GRI Working Papers 29, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    2. Mark Harrison & Inga Zaksauskienė, 2016. "Counter-intelligence in a command economy," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 69(1), pages 131-158, February.
    3. 'Ofa, Siope Vakataki, 2009. "The WTO's telecommunications commitments and the credibility of telecommunications regulatory reforms in small island developing states," MPRA Paper 66184, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Ralph Chami & Connel Fullenkamp & Sunil Sharma, 2010. "A framework for financial market development," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 107-135.
    5. Eichfelder, Sebastian & Vaillancourt, François, 2014. "Tax compliance costs: A review of cost burdens and cost structures," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 178, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    6. Michael, Bryane & Gubin, Alexey, 2012. "Compliance Audit of Anti-Corruption Regulations: A Case Study from Carpatistan Customs," MPRA Paper 44693, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Wegrich, Kai, 2009. "The administrative burden reduction policy boom in Europe: comparing mechanisms of policy diffusion," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 36536, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. repec:eee:enepol:v:110:y:2017:i:c:p:490-499 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Shaun Elder, 2014. "Does the GFC as a change agent of financial regulatory models and approaches in Europe provide lessons for Asia?," Asia Europe Journal, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 419-430, December.
    10. Sebastian Eichfelder & François Vaillancourt, 2014. "Tax Compliance Costs: A Review of Cost Burdens and Cost Structures," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 210(3), pages 111-148, September.
    11. Cameron Hepburn, 2006. "Regulation by Prices, Quantities, or Both: A Review of Instrument Choice," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(2), pages 226-247, Summer.
    12. He Wei Ping, 2013. "Regulatory capture in China's banking sector," Journal of Banking Regulation, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 14(1), pages 80-90, January.
    13. Adams, Samuel & Atsu, Francis, 2015. "Assessing the distributional effects of regulation in developing countries," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 713-725.
    14. Aad Correljé & Martijn Groenleer & Jasper Veldman, 2013. "Understanding institutional change: the development of institutions for the regulation of natural gas transportation systems in the US and the EU," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/07, European University Institute.
    15. Lourdes Torres & Patricia Bachiller, 2013. "Efficiency of telecommunications companies in European countries," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 17(4), pages 863-886, November.

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