September 24, 2020

Larger Polities Are More Regulated

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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 percent 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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