OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Regulation in Services

OECD Patterns and Economic Implications

The paper looks at patterns of regulation in service industries and explores their implications for service performance. Focusing on restrictions to market mechanisms, a map of the state of service regulation in OECD countries is provided, based on data recently collected and summarised by the OECD. The paper also surveys the available cross-country empirical evidence on the effects of regulatory reform on service productivity, prices and innovation. Finally, it discusses ways in which regulation can encourage competition, efficiency and investment in those segments of the service industries where non-competitive elements persist. The main conclusions reached are: i) in the past two decades OECD governments extensively reformed regulatory environments in both competitive and network service industries, generally making them closer to market mechanisms; ii) however due to differences in initial conditions and in the pace of reform, within each service industry the dispersion of ...


Keywords: privatisation, regulatory reforms, services, regulation, competition policy, liberalisation, network industries
JEL: K23: Law and Economics / Regulation and Business Law / Regulated Industries and Administrative Law; L9: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities; L43: Industrial Organization / Antitrust Issues and Policies / Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation; L50: Industrial Organization / Regulation and Industrial Policy / Regulation and Industrial Policy: General; L51: Industrial Organization / Regulation and Industrial Policy / Economics of Regulation; L80: Industrial Organization / Industry Studies: Services / Industry Studies: Services: General
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