Journal Article

Regulation and Productivity Performance

Nicholas Crafts

in Oxford Review of Economic Policy

Published on behalf of The Oxford Review of Economic Policy Ltd

Volume 22, issue 2, pages 186-202
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 0266-903X
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1460-2121 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxrep/grj012
Regulation and Productivity Performance

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The paper reviews theory and evidence on the ways in which regulation affects productivity outcomes. In a context of endogenous growth, it is argued that traditional measures of compliance costs miss the potentially most important impacts of regulation on productivity which occur through changes in incentives to invest and to innovate. Recent attempts to measure cross-country variations in the strength of product-market and employment regulation are considered and some weaknesses are highlighted. Nevertheless, consistent with endogenous growth models, there appears to be quite strong evidence that regulations which inhibit entry into product markets have an adverse effect on TFP growth in OECD countries. Although there are some discrepancies in the evidence, on most measures the UK appears lightly regulated relative to France and Germany, and this may have contributed to a reduction in the recent past in the UK's TFP gap.

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Subjects: Economic Development and Growth ; Public Economics ; Political Economy ; Public Policy

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