Abstract and Keywords
Economics has been at the heart of regulatory reform beginning with the wave of deregulation and privatisations of the 1980s. This article focuses on economic theories of regulation, and the way economics has been used to design and evaluate regulation. As the title of this article suggests, there are a number of economic approaches. However, these all share the conviction that relatively simple economic theory can assist in understanding regulation, and providing practical tools for regulators to make regulation more effective and efficient. The subject matter of the economics of regulation covers at least four broad areas — economic regulation, social regulation, competition law, and the legal system. Here a broader view is taken encompassing competition and merger laws, and the field known as law-and-economics or the economics of law is illustrated which looks at the legal system.
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