Determinants and Consequences of Regulatory Activity


Political commentators regularly assert a surge in regulation. While some deem it to be an adequate response to economic and social developments, others fret about a decrease in the quality of legislation and legal certainty. So far, this debate has been based mostly on anecdotal evidence. However, a rigorous analysis of the causes and consequences requires systematic and comparable data. We present unique data, along with the major facts and trends, for more than one century of regulation in Swiss cantons. Understanding the regulatory dynamics at the Swiss subnational level is interesting beyond the purely Swiss context, as it allows to analyze comparable units and to construct credible counterfactuals. The 26 cantons all share a common national institutional environment, but have considerable autonomy and feature great institutional variation. Our analysis of the determinants of regulation focus on institutional features that affect the legislative process in the supply of regulatory changes. Foremost, we study mandatory legislative referendums, which require that changes to the body of statutes are accepted by voters. We show that the abolishment of mandatory legislative referendums strongly increased regulatory activity. Regarding the consequences, we leverage the institution-induced changes in regulatory activity in an instrumental variable setting and find that regulatory activity does not affect economic growth, but that it seems to reduce income concentration at the top.

When: Tuesday 18th April, 11am

Where: P Block, Level 6, Room 638

Tickets are free (Zoom & In-Person Available)

About The Speaker:

Professor Mark Schelker

Mark Schelker is a Professor of Economics and the director of the chair of Public Economics at the University of Fribourg with expertise in Public Economics, Political Economics and Applied Econometrics.


Start Date: 18/04/2023 [add to calendar]
Start Time: 11:00am
End Date: 18/04/2023
End Time: 12:00pm
Cost: Free