The CRC Series on Competition, Regulation and Development
Edited by Paul Cook, Colin Kirkpatrick, Martin Minogue and David Parker
Chapter 7: Comparing regulatory systems: institutions, processes and legal forms in industrialised countries
Anthony Ogus INTRODUCTION It might seem odd to include a chapter comparing regulatory systems in industrialised countries in a volume devoted to themes relevant to regulation and competition in developing countries. But if those from the (mainly) European and North American legal and regulatory traditions wish to venture into evaluative studies of equivalents in developing countries, they must have a firm basis from which to proceed – and an understanding of the conceptual framework used in their own and analogous jurisdictions would seem to serve very well for this purpose. There are clearly many possible approaches to the comparison of regulatory systems. I focus on three characteristics: institutional structures; procedural and managerial systems; and legal forms. There is a generally accepted distinction (Ogus, 1994, pp. 4–5) between ‘economic’ regulation, which is the regulation of prices and quality of services supplied in a market characterised by monopoly or near-monopoly conditions, and ‘social’ regulation, which refers to those areas of state intervention, for example environmental and health and safety regulation, and consumer protection, generally justified by reference to externalities and information asymmetries. The determinants of the institutional framework are not always common to the two types of regulation. In this study, I cover both types, although in the main text there is a focus on economic regulation, with some reference to issues of social regulation. Comparisons between national systems risk superficiality if no account is taken of the cultural and constitutional context in which the regime is to be found. This study...
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