Larger polities are more regulated

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James BaileyProvidence College, USA

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James BroughelMercatus Center at George Mason University, USA

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Patrick A. McLaughlinMercatus Center at George Mason University, USA

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Using a variety of novel data sources from the RegData project, we show that population levels and the amount of regulation are highly correlated across countries and time, and that more-populated US states, Australian states and Canadian provinces tend to be more heavily regulated than less-populated states and provinces. A doubling of population size is associated with a 22 to 33 per cent increase in regulation. This provides support for the theory that the fixed costs associated with regulating partly determine where and when regulations occur.

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  • Chambers, D., McLaughlin, P.A. and Stanley, L. (2019a) Barriers to prosperity: the harmful impact of entry regulations on income inequality, Public Choice, 180: 16590, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11127-018-0498-4. doi: 10.1007/s11127-018-0498-4

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James BaileyProvidence College, USA

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James BroughelMercatus Center at George Mason University, USA

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Patrick A. McLaughlinMercatus Center at George Mason University, USA

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