Regulatory Competition or Regulatory Harmonization - A Silly Question

Alan O. Sykes


The debate over 'competition versus harmonization' in regulatory policy often confuses the pertinent alternatives. This comment argues that neither pure regulatory competition nor complete regulatory harmonization is desirable or feasible where important international cross-border effects of regulation arise. Instead, a considerable degree of cooperation is almost always needed, yet non-homogeneity of regulatory policies is almost always desirable as well. This proposition holds virtually regardless of the subject matter of regulation.