Shaping the Future of Regulators

The Impact of Emerging Technologies on Economic Regulators

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The pace and scope of emerging technologies are creating a sea change for governments and for regulators. They challenge economic regulation by blurring the traditional definition of markets, for example, and by transcending administrative boundaries domestically and internationally. At the same time, the digital transformation is an excellent opportunity for regulators themselves to harness the power of data and digital tools to improve regulation and its delivery. Seizing this opportunity will require fit-for-purpose regulatory frameworks and governance arrangements. This report brings together case studies submitted by members of the OECD Network of Economic Regulators that highlight how regulators have analysed and tackled these issues. The case studies span nine countries and a wide range of sectors (communication, transport, energy, environmental protection) and provide concrete examples of how regulators are responding to innovation in the sectors that they oversee.



Regulators are in a unique position, at the forefront of interaction with consumers, business, and government, and with direct oversight of markets that deliver essential services to citizens and the economy. They are characterised by technical expertise and organisational agility, making them essential players of the regulatory and policy ecosystems. This role is enhanced in a context subject to fast transformation, led by emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, machine learning, and big data analysis, that disrupt traditional business models and create new ways for consumers to interact with the providers of goods and services. Regulators have their fingers on the pulse of the markets and these transformative innovations.


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