Regulation in the Age of Globalization: The Diffusion of Regulatory Agencies Across Europe and Latin America
IBEI Working Paper No. 2006/1
19 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2007
Date Written: May 2006
One of the most notable characteristics of the change in governance of the past two decades has been the restructuring of the state, most notably the delegation of authority from politicians and ministries to technocrats and regulatory agencies. Our unique dataset on the extent of these reforms in seven sectors in 36 countries reveals the widespread diffusion of these reforms in recent decades. In 1986 there were only 23 agencies across these sectors and countries (less than one agency per country); by 2002 this number had increased more than seven-fold, to 169. On average these 36 countries each have more than four agencies in the seven sectors studied. Yet the widespread diffusion of these reforms is characterized by cross-regional and cross-sectoral variations. Our data reveal two major variations: first, reforms are more widespread in economic regulation that in social spheres; second, regulatory agencies in the social spheres are more widespread in Europe than in Latin America. Why these variations in the spread of the reforms? In this paper we present for the first time the regulatory gaps across regions and sectors and then move on to offer some explanations for these gaps in a way that sheds some light on the nature of these reforms and on their limits. Our explanatory framework combines diffusion and structural explanations and in doing so sheds new light on the global diffusion of public policy ideas.
Keywords: Policy diffusion, Regulatory Agencies, Regulatory Competition, Professional Networks, Regional Integration
JEL Classification: F01, F02, K20, K23, L50, L51, L52, L59, O52, O54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation