This paper focuses on economic regulation and particularly the regulation of prices, outputs and service quality. The first section considers how regulation could be used to advance the reduction of poverty. It then turns to the existing evidence in the development literature on regulation and poverty reduction. It is found that existing knowledge is patchy, at best. While much has now been written about regulation in developing countries, especially in relation to the privatisation of infrastructure, little of this has focused specifically on the poverty agenda. The paper concludes by providing an agenda for future research into regulation and poverty reduction in developing countries with the aim of improving our knowledge of the extent to which regulators address poverty issues and about the results of their regulatory decisions on poverty levels. The premise that lies at the heart of the paper is that well-regulated markets can promote national economic development and protect the interests of the poor. The study is intended to highlight areas where future research should be directed so as to raise the profile of regulation in poverty reduction, albeit with a particular emphasis on infrastructure services.
Manchester, UK, CRC Working Paper, No. 116, 30 pp.