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Population and Regulation

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  • Casey B. Mulligan
  • Andrei Shleifer

Abstract

We present a model of efficient regulation along the lines of Demsetz (1967). In this model, setting up and running regulatory institutions takes a fixed cost, and therefore jurisdictions with larger populations affected by a given regulation are more likely to have them. Consistent with the model, we find that higher population U.S. states have more pages of legislation and adopt particular laws earlier in their history. We also find that specific types of regulation, including the regulation of entry, the regulation of labor, and the military draft are more extensive in countries with larger populations. Overall, the data show that population is an empirically important determinant of regulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Casey B. Mulligan & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Population and Regulation," NBER Working Papers 10234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10234
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Toshihiro Okubo & Vincent Rebeyrol, 2006. "Home Market Effect, regulation costs and heterogeneous firms," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques bla06056, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
    2. Price V. Fishback & Rebecca Holmes & Samuel Allen, 2008. "Lifting the Curse of Dimensionality: Measures of the Labor Legislation Climate in the States During the Progressive Era," NBER Working Papers 14167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Martin Roessler, 2019. "Political regimes and publicly provided goods: why democracy needs development," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 180(3), pages 301-331, September.
    4. Simeon Djankov & Jose Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2008. "The curse of aid," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 169-194, September.
    5. Casey B. Mulligan & Ricard Gil & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2004. "Do Democracies Have Different Public Policies than Nondemocracies?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 51-74, Winter.
    6. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martín, 2003. "Social security, retirement, and the single-mindedness of the electorate," Economics Working Papers 686, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    7. Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2005. "Which Countries Have State Religions?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1331-1370.
    8. Casey B. Mulligan, 2005. "Conscription as Regulation," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 85-111.
    9. Grajzl, Peter & Murrell, Peter, 2007. "Allocating lawmaking powers: Self-regulation vs government regulation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 520-545, September.
    10. Mohammad Amin & Priya Ranjan, 2008. "When Does Legal Origin Matter?," Working Papers 080912, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    11. Price V. Fishback, 2006. "The Irony of Reform. Did Large Employers Subvert Workplace Safety Reform, 1869 to 1930?," NBER Chapters, in: Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America's Economic History, pages 285-318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. John W. Dawson, 2007. "Regulation and the Macroeconomy," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 15-36, February.
    13. Coviello, Decio & Islam, Roumeen, 2006. "Does aid help improve economic institutions ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3990, The World Bank.
    14. John Dawson & John Seater, 2013. "Federal regulation and aggregate economic growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 137-177, June.
    15. John W. Dawson & John J. Seater, 2005. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Federal Regulation," Working Papers 05-02, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
    16. Dias, Joilson & McDermott, John, 2006. "Institutions, education, and development: The role of entrepreneurs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 299-328, August.
    17. Vollrath, Dietrich, 2013. "Inequality and school funding in the rural United States, 1890," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 267-284.

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    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • K10 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - General (Constitutional Law)

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