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Regulation, Markets and Poverty

Edited by Paul Cook and Sarah Mosedale

Regulation, Markets and Poverty incorporates the main policy implications arising from theoretical and empirical research into competition, regulation and regulatory governance in developing countries. This analysis often challenges conventional wisdom and draws on the work of leading experts from a range of disciplines.
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Chapter 6: Regulatory Policy Transfer


INTRODUCTION Western views on regulatory reform have had a growing influence on governments in developing countries. Indeed, donor organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have pressed such countries to adopt Western models on the assumption that this will benefit their economies. But it is now recognized that direct policy transfers often fail to produce the expected results. We argue that the impact of policy change is strongly affected by the political, legal and social context. Just because a policy works well in one country does not mean it will do so in another (Minogue, 2002c). Rather than simply apply a standard model, policy-makers need to analyse their own situation and tailor policy to fit. The question of whether policy transfer is derived from a process of learning from others’ experience or simply from copying is dealt with in Box 6.1. When policy transfers are not undertaken voluntarily but rather as a result of donor pressure there is a serious danger that reforms will exist mainly on paper and make little real difference. It is also likely that such an approach will underestimate or neglect the influence of the political context in determining a response to reform pressures (Jordana and Levi-Faur, 2004b; Minogue, 2004a). THE POLITICS OF REGULATION Politics affects regulatory reform in many different ways. For example, privatization and regulatory reform are more likely to occur in some sectors, such as telecommunications, than in others, such as the...

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