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Regulation and macroeconomic performance

  • Loayza, Norman V.
  • Oviedo, Ana Maria
  • Serven, Luis

Regulation is purportedly enacted to serve specific social purposes. In reality, however, it follows a more complex political economy process, where legitimate social goals are mixed with the objectives of particular interest groups. Whatever its justification and objectives, regulation can have potentially significant macroeconomic consequences, by helping or hampering the dynamics of economic restructuring and resource reallocation that underlie the growth process. This paper provides an empirical analysis of the macroeconomic impact of regulation. It first characterizes the stylized facts on regulation across the world, using a set of newly constructed, comprehensive indicators of regulation in a large number of countries in the 1990s. Using these indicators, the paper studies the effects of regulation on economic growth and macroeconomic volatility employing cross-country regression analysis. In particular, the paper considers whether the effects of regulation are affected by the country's level of institutional development. Finally, the analysis controls for the likely endogeneity of regulation with respect to macroeconomic performance. The paper concludes that a heavier regulatory burden reduces growth and increases volatility, although these effects are smaller the higher the quality of the overall institutional framework.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3469.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3469
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