Services in the European Union: What Kinds of Regulatory Policies Enhance Productivity?

66 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2016

See all articles by Erik van der Marel

Erik van der Marel

European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE)

Janez Kren

KU Leuven

Mariana Iootty

World Bank

Date Written: December 15, 2016


This paper is the first one to show the effects of services regulations on downstream firms in the goods and services sectors in a multiple-country setting using firm-level data. The study selected a group of countries that are economically relatively services-oriented and show varying degrees of services regulations over time, namely the European Union. The paper employs four alternative firm-level measures of total factor productivity that have recently been developed in the economics literature and provide robust conclusions. Overall, the results suggest that regulatory barriers in services have diverse effects on downstream manufacturing performance, depending on the type of regulatory measure in question. The policy variables are split into pure entry barriers and those that relate to the anti-competitive policies on the operations of the firm, which the paper calls conduct regulations. The latter appear to play the most important role in explaining downstream performance across services and goods firms. Furthermore, the results show that regulations matter significantly more in the cases when a country is institutionally weak, an industry is considered as relatively close to the technology frontier, or a firm is foreign owned.

Keywords: Competitiveness and Competition Policy, Competition Policy

Suggested Citation

Marel, Erik van der and Kren, Janez and Iootty, Mariana, Services in the European Union: What Kinds of Regulatory Policies Enhance Productivity? (December 15, 2016). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 7919. Available at SSRN:

Erik van der Marel (Contact Author)

European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE) ( email )

Rue Belliard 4-6
Brussels, 1040

Janez Kren

KU Leuven ( email )

Oude Markt 13
Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant 3000

Mariana Iootty

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics