International Handbook on Economic Regulation
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International Handbook on Economic Regulation

Edited by Michael A. Crew and David Parker

Michael Crew and David Parker have compiled a comprehensive, up-to-date and detailed analytical work on leading research issues in the economics of regulation. With contributions from international specialists in economic regulation, the Handbook provides a comprehensive discussion of major developments in both the theory and practice of regulatory economics. This book will be an indispensable source for both students and practitioners of regulation.
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Chapter 11: Regulatory Impact Assessment

Colin Kirkpatrick


Colin Kirkpatrick Introduction1 Although there is no generally agreed definition of regulation, it can be broadly understood to refer to a government measure which is intended to affect individual or group behaviour. Alongside fiscal policy (taxation and government expenditure), regulation is the main policy tool that government can use to affect the outcomes of markets, and the design of effective regulatory policy is now the focus of much interest among policymakers in all parts of the world. The member countries of the OECD are each active in pursuing regulatory reform programmes aimed at improving the operating environment for investment and, more generally, enhancing the quality of public governance processes (OECD, 2002). Regulatory reform is a key component of the process of establishing the institutional infrastructure of a market economy in the transitional economies of central and eastern Europe (OECD, 2004a; Jacobs, S., 2004). In developing countries, regulatory reform is a central component of the development policy framework (World Bank, 2004b). With the emergence of the ‘regulatory state’ (Majone, 1994, 1997) as the dominant paradigm in public sector management, increasing attention has been given to the design and implementation of ‘good’ regulation which contributes to the goals that are set for the regulatory system. Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) is a method of policy analysis which is intended to assist policymakers in the design, implementation and monitoring of improvements to regulatory systems, by providing a methodology for assessing the likely consequences of proposed regulation and the actual consequences of existing regulations. The...

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