Does Regulation Kill Jobs?
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Does Regulation Kill Jobs?

I’m Cary Coglianese. I direct the Penn Program
on Regulation and I’m a member of the faculty here at the University of Pennsylvania Law
School. Our new book, released by the Penn Program
on Regulation and the University of Pennsylvania Press, is entitled Does Regulation Kill Jobs?. In 2007, President Bush signed legislation
that imposed ever tightening energy efficiency standards on light bulbs. Now that has meant
that incandescent light bulbs, the traditional light bulbs that we are familiar with, can’t
meet some of these standards. And that means, of course, that a factory that makes incandescent
light bulbs is likely to close shop. But it also means, that other kinds of light bulbs,
compact florescent light bulbs for example, that can meet the energy efficiency standards,
there is more of a demand for them. And that means that those factories making those light
bulbs will expand and hire more workers. This is just one story of course, and as I
said, the systematic research seems to bear out that there are job losses associated with
regulation, but there are also job gains and they tend to balance each other out. But the shifts of jobs, from one business
to another, from one sector to another, or from one part of a country to another still
means that real people are out of work or in transition. That their families are suffering
some very real effects. It also means that our political leaders are still concerned
about the relationship between regulation and employment. It’s for that reason that
we produced this book, Does Regulation Kill Jobs?. The book tries to cut through the heated
political rhetoric and bring serious empirical, analytical rigor to bear on this vital public
policy question. The book brings together work by leading economists,
and legal scholars, political scientists, regulatory analysts, and practitioners as
well. And it takes up the central question, does regulation kill jobs, and brings some
new empirical analysis to bear on that question. It also offers very real suggestions for regulatory
agencies and legislators who want to know what we can do as a society to improve our
analysis of employment effects. And finally, it also considers some reforms
to the regulatory process that would mean that employment effects are given better due
when regulators are making decisions. In total, the book tries to bring more light to bear
on a very heated policy debate to help society improve its understanding of the effects of
regulation on employment but also to improve the design of regulation more generally.

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