Regulating away competition: the effect of regulation on entrepreneurship and employment

James B. Bailey, Diana W. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Many scholars have worried that regulation deters entrepreneurship because it increases the cost of entry, reduces innovation in the regulated industry, and benefits large firms because they can overcome the costs of complying with regulations more easily than smaller firms. Using novel data on the extent of US federal regulations by industry and data on firm births and employment from the Statistics of US Businesses, we run fixed effects regressions to show that more-regulated industries experienced fewer new firm births and slower employment growth in the period 1998–2011. Large firms may even successfully lobby government officials to increase regulations to raise their smaller rivals’ costs. We also find that regulations inhibit employment growth in all firms and that large firms are less likely to exit a heavily regulated industry than small firms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-254
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Regulatory Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


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