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Government regulation is a double-edged sword. By restricting the inputs—capital, labor, technology, and more—that can be used in the production process, regulation shapes the economy and, by extension, living standards today and in the future. Applied effectively, regulation can foster a thriving, competitive marketplace where innovation and technological progress flouris Government regulation is a double-edged sword. By restricting the inputs—capital, labor, technology, and more—that can be used in the production process, regulation shapes the economy and, by extension, living standards today and in the future. Applied effectively, regulation can foster a thriving, competitive marketplace where innovation and technological progress flourish. Executed poorly, regulation can stifle creativity and learning and limit opportunities for all citizens. In this brief but authoritative work, James Broughel lays out a basic theoretical framework for understanding how regulations affect economic growth. He provides a useful starting point for researchers of regulation and growth by reviewing what economists have learned about growth over the past 60 years and by describing the puzzles yet to be solved. The book includes a unique classification system for distinguishing among the various “shocks” induced by regulation and tracking how these shocks translate into “effects” in terms of economic growth. It should prove helpful to academic researchers, advanced undergraduate and graduate students, policymakers, and anyone else who wishes to assess with greater precision the repercussions of the complex web of rules that governs our lives. Praise for the Book “In an age of slow growth, this book is one of the best guides to thinking about why regulation matters, how to incorporate growth considerations into policy analysis, and what we should do more concretely.” —Tyler Cowen, author of The Complement Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream and general director of the Mercatus Center “James Broughel’s new book, Regulation and Economic Growth, presents a clear review of the economic growth models that have been offered over the past 60 years to explain the factors that affect productivity. I highly recommend it to policymakers and students seeking to understand the sources of, and constraints on, productivity and innovation. Readers will find not only a valuable macroeconomic foundation in this well-written volume but also important insights on the impacts of public policy and regulatory institutions.” —Susan Dudley, director of the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center and distinguished professor of practice in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration “Until recently, most economists have not examined regulation—and more specifically, regulatory accumulation—as a determinant of economic growth. . . . Whatever the cause, the effect is similar to the proverbial search for car keys under a streetlight. If regulation is a major cause of slower growth, then a search for answers using models that fail to consider regulation’s role will continue to be fruitless. Broughel’s book, along with recent innovations in quantifying regulation to produce tractable data for use in growth models, has effectively built a new streetlight.” —from the foreword by Patrick A. McLaughlin


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Government regulation is a double-edged sword. By restricting the inputs—capital, labor, technology, and more—that can be used in the production process, regulation shapes the economy and, by extension, living standards today and in the future. Applied effectively, regulation can foster a thriving, competitive marketplace where innovation and technological progress flouris Government regulation is a double-edged sword. By restricting the inputs—capital, labor, technology, and more—that can be used in the production process, regulation shapes the economy and, by extension, living standards today and in the future. Applied effectively, regulation can foster a thriving, competitive marketplace where innovation and technological progress flourish. Executed poorly, regulation can stifle creativity and learning and limit opportunities for all citizens. In this brief but authoritative work, James Broughel lays out a basic theoretical framework for understanding how regulations affect economic growth. He provides a useful starting point for researchers of regulation and growth by reviewing what economists have learned about growth over the past 60 years and by describing the puzzles yet to be solved. The book includes a unique classification system for distinguishing among the various “shocks” induced by regulation and tracking how these shocks translate into “effects” in terms of economic growth. It should prove helpful to academic researchers, advanced undergraduate and graduate students, policymakers, and anyone else who wishes to assess with greater precision the repercussions of the complex web of rules that governs our lives. Praise for the Book “In an age of slow growth, this book is one of the best guides to thinking about why regulation matters, how to incorporate growth considerations into policy analysis, and what we should do more concretely.” —Tyler Cowen, author of The Complement Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream and general director of the Mercatus Center “James Broughel’s new book, Regulation and Economic Growth, presents a clear review of the economic growth models that have been offered over the past 60 years to explain the factors that affect productivity. I highly recommend it to policymakers and students seeking to understand the sources of, and constraints on, productivity and innovation. Readers will find not only a valuable macroeconomic foundation in this well-written volume but also important insights on the impacts of public policy and regulatory institutions.” —Susan Dudley, director of the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center and distinguished professor of practice in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration “Until recently, most economists have not examined regulation—and more specifically, regulatory accumulation—as a determinant of economic growth. . . . Whatever the cause, the effect is similar to the proverbial search for car keys under a streetlight. If regulation is a major cause of slower growth, then a search for answers using models that fail to consider regulation’s role will continue to be fruitless. Broughel’s book, along with recent innovations in quantifying regulation to produce tractable data for use in growth models, has effectively built a new streetlight.” —from the foreword by Patrick A. McLaughlin

38 review for Regulation and Economic Growth: Applying Economic Theory to Public Policy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Vance

    The author, Broughel, provides a succinct overview of economic growth theories and ties these in with the roles of regulation. He concludes by noting that it’s not necessarily one regulation that destroys economic activity, but rather a cumulative effect strangling important factors of growth, such as “productivity, investment, competition, human capital, institutions, and all the various forms of technological innovation.” By allowing entrepreneurs the best opportunity to move ahead given an un The author, Broughel, provides a succinct overview of economic growth theories and ties these in with the roles of regulation. He concludes by noting that it’s not necessarily one regulation that destroys economic activity, but rather a cumulative effect strangling important factors of growth, such as “productivity, investment, competition, human capital, institutions, and all the various forms of technological innovation.” By allowing entrepreneurs the best opportunity to move ahead given an uncertain future without being plagued by excessive government interference, more prosperity can result. Overall, I thought this was a good, short read, but most of it was review for me without specific policies to remove or add that would support more economic growth and associated prosperity, which is why I gave it 3 stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Γιώργος Πισίνας

    I get this is probably a textbook for students (possibly not even on economic studies, but politics or other) but this was not a good book. I can also comprehend that many of the issues and shortcomings of the book should not be attributed to the author but to the general society of economics, and particularly to the mainstream perception. Though still, this book has problematic assumptions and presuppositions, like that growth is the only thing that we should care in the long term. “If a society I get this is probably a textbook for students (possibly not even on economic studies, but politics or other) but this was not a good book. I can also comprehend that many of the issues and shortcomings of the book should not be attributed to the author but to the general society of economics, and particularly to the mainstream perception. Though still, this book has problematic assumptions and presuppositions, like that growth is the only thing that we should care in the long term. “If a society cares about the well-being of future generations, by extension, that society must care about economic growth”. Meanwhile, there not a single mention on the problematics of growth, e.g. a critique to the growth mania from ecological perspective. It has bad reasoning and problematic support on key elements. For example, something that stroke me was a problematic explanation of the diminishing returns to a technology which confuses the marginal returns to scale with technological innovation (p. 38). His hilarious explanation of bad ideas was striking as well, either quite irrelevant (to growth issues) or self-contradicting (at least to an extent) but either way not supported enough (p. 102). Moreover, the book is missing a large part that I would hope it would mention, or that is does but does in a single paragraph or even sentence on the relationship between institutions and economy, or the effects of culture. Finally, this book is quite vague on the issues it hopes to shed light on, though this is something that the author acknowledges to an extent as it occurs from the material he chooses to handle. To conclude, I would not propose this book. I think that most of the issues I have with the book come from the fact that the author invests too much on the apolitical theory of economics and misses or bypasses any points occurring from a political economy framework.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Gomez

    Fantastic discussion of regulations and how they affect economic growth. Highly recommended.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ev Cornell

  5. 5 out of 5

    Igor Zurimendi

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy A Gentles

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dr. Douglas Morgan

  8. 4 out of 5

    Javier Roca

  9. 4 out of 5

    Colby Williams

  10. 4 out of 5

    Abikoye Olufemi

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Burke

  12. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Shestakov

  13. 5 out of 5

    John

  14. 5 out of 5

    John Mulcahy

  15. 4 out of 5

    Martha Njolomole

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jed

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sir

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gus

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jim

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alex Weiss

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  24. 5 out of 5

    Simon Greenwood

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Gurewitz

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alessandro Gargani

  28. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Lynch

  29. 4 out of 5

    Karl

  30. 4 out of 5

    Raksa Rithy

  31. 4 out of 5

    sava sairam kumar

  32. 4 out of 5

    Kylie Maury O. Galvez

  33. 5 out of 5

    Ha Huy Phong

  34. 4 out of 5

    Mun Kwon

  35. 4 out of 5

    Jon Helgi Einarsson

  36. 5 out of 5

    Vithiya

  37. 4 out of 5

    James Bird

  38. 4 out of 5

    Faith love

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