Does business influence government regulations? New evidence from Canadian impact assessments

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Regulatory impact assessments frequently embed stakeholder consultations in their design. Canada was one of the early adopters of such an approach and therefore has systematic documentation on the actors taking part in these consultations. This article asks whether these consultations have an influence on regulatory change and whether business disproportionally benefits from them. After converting the documentation into data, we find that these consultations do in fact matter: the more diversified the stakeholders taking part, the more stringent the changed regulations. But we also found that for a subset of regulatory changes, those likely to carry high economic stakes, business takes advantage of the consultation, often obtaining some reduction in regulatory stringency. These reductions, however, are conditioned on the limited presence of opposing views expressed during the consultations.

This content has been updated on 6 May 2020 at 9 h 11 min.