Cutting Red Tape

1997-6674 (online)
1997-6666 (print)
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This series examines how governments can reduce red tape in their administrations.  Some of the reports are country-specific, and some look at various issues across a number of countries.
Also available in French
Businesses' Views on Red Tape

Businesses' Views on Red Tape

Administrative and Regulatory Burdens on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises You do not have access to this content

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24 Sep 2001
9789264193468 (PDF) ;9789264187160(print)

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Businesses’ Views on Red Tape provides the first opportunity to systematically compare data across 11 OECD countries. The data show how small and medium-sized enterprises perceive national administrative and regulatory costs. Regulations and government formalities, so-called "red tape", are important tools used by governments to carry out public policies in many policy areas, including safety, health, and environmental protection. However, if they are poorly designed or applied, inefficient, or outdated, they can impede innovation, entry, investment, and create unnecessary barriers to trade, investment, and economic efficiency. The result of poor regulation and formalities is that national economies become less able to grow, compete, adjust, and create jobs. Based on a survey of almost 8 000 businesses, this report assesses the quality, application and burdens of employment, environment and tax regulations and formalities. The results are dramatic: for example, red tape accounts for 4% of the annual turnover of companies, while the hardest hit are the smallest companies, and these costs are growing in most countries.

Also available in French
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Table of Contents

Executive Summary
I. Introduction
-The Importance of Regulatory Burdens
-2. The Difficulties of Measuring Regulatory Costs
-3. OECD Work on Measuring the Compliance Costs of Regulations
-4. The Limitations and Advantages of Large-Scale Business Surveys
-5. Main Characteristics of the OECD Business Survey
II. Results from the Survey
-1. Direct Administrative Compliance Costs
-2. Indirect Costs
-3. Quality of Regulations and Formalities
-4. The Quality of Regulatory Administration
III. Conclusion
Appendix I. Detailed Description and Results of the Survey
Appendix II. Comparison with Other Surveys and Studies
Appendix III. The Survey Questionnaire
Appendix IV. Additional Data Used for the Cost Estimates
Appendix V. Analysis of Variance Results Among Policy Areas, Countries, Industries, and Firm Structures
Appendix VII. Detailed Tables of the Survey's Results
Appendix VIII. Economic Sectors Used in the Survey Samples

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