Regulatory analaysis ideas and insights

  • Local zoning regulations are in desperate need of reform
    I wouldn’t usually share a Reddit post, but an Australian Reddit user posted a tragicomic takedown of his/her local zoning regulations that are over 1,100 pages in length (see below). The 1,100 pages are a litany of prescriptive use rules detailing every aspect of what can be built where with little economic or social reasoning. […]
  • The consequences of a delay in COVID19 vaccine approval
    In an unusal step, the European Medicines Agency chided the UK for a ‘hasty’ decision to approve Pfizer’s vaccine nearly a month before the EU expects to give approval. The UK, one of the worst hit European countries, has given emergency approval to the vaccine to help control the spread of COVID19. As early as […]
  • Why did countries with a better business environment control COVID19 better?
    By Eric Thomson Hong Kong during COVID19. Photo by Elton Yung on Unsplash Jacinda Ardern has been widely praised for her swift COVID19 response that has made New Zealand a poster child for tackling the virus. Now, New Zealand’s economy is set for a quicker rebound than most other Western countries, who continue to grapple – often unsuccessfully […]
  • Business Red Tape and the Economy
    How much does bureaucracy hurt incomes? A lot. <p class="has-drop-cap" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80"> But how exactly does bureaucracy distort the economy, and how much? Unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape require businesses to put additional labour and capital towards tasks that are, in effect, “unproductive” for the economy. Time spent dealing with paperwork cannot […]
  • The Macroeconomic Impacts of Industrial Regulation
    How can governments analyse the broader economic effects of proposed regulations in an interconnected economy? Governments change hundreds if not thousands of regulations and laws every year, ostensibly to protect citizens’ health and safety and to assure the proper functioning of free markets. These regulations are only effective with compliance, which necessarily means that businesses […]
  • The Double Diamond Design Process for Policy
    How a framework from product and service design would help policymakers find the right programs and regulations to solve societal problems Through my many years working with regulators and policymakers, I have heard that they often struggle at the earliest stages of designing regulation. Often the impetus to develop a new program or regulation starts […]
  • Reducing Regulatory Red-Tape Prevents Corruption
    Regulations, like building codes and permitting, are ostensibly designed to protect the safety and well-being of citizens. These licences and permits ensure that buildings are safe for its occupants. However, the lengthy process puts critical financial and economic power in the hands of a few bureaucrats.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: Bad Indicators lead to Bad Policy Making
    Justin Peters over at Slate asks a very good question, “Will Arresting People Who Aren’t Very Drunk Reduce Drunk-Driving Fatalities?“. In regulation development, if a previous restricting policy policy did little to meet the policy objective, it makes little sense to make an even stricter policy. A stricter policy will just create more costs or […]
  • Road to Ruin: Tesla vs. Auto Dealers
    Tesla Motors, the famed electric vehicle startup from billionaire Elon Musk, is feeling the full brunt of auto dealers associations wielding antiquated regulations. On March 11th, the state of New Jersey, facing complaints from the New Jersey Auto Dealers Association, banned Tesla from selling its electric cars directly over the internet from the factory to […]
  • An Economist’s Take on Digital Paywalls
    From premium newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times to made-up news weeklies like Weekly World News to the satirical magazine The Onion, nearly all news websites have adopted, or at least tested, a paywall for online readers. Yet, prominent economists have discovered gaping holes in a business strategy that has […]

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