Regulations Deter Start-Ups, Creating a “Senile Economy”

(p. 5B) We may have a “senile economy,” says economist Robert Litan of the Brookings Institution. That’s senile as in old, rigid and undynamic.

. . .

Litan is not just blowing smoke. In a new study, he and Ian Hathaway measured the age of American businesses. They were astonished by what they found: From 1992 to 2011, the share of U.S. firms that were 16 and older jumped from 23 percent to 34 percent.

. . .

What happened to all the entrepreneurs? Good question.

“We do not have an explanation,” write the University of Maryland and the Census Bureau economists. Neither does Litan. “One theory is that the cumulative effect of regulations,” he says, discriminates against new businesses and favors “established firms that have the experience and resources to deal with it.” What allegedly deters and hampers startups is not any one regulation but the cost and time of complying with a blizzard of them.

For the full commentary, see:
ROBERT J. SAMUELSON. “Fewer entrepreneurs spells trouble.” Omaha World-Herald (Mon., August 11, 2014): 5B.
(Note: ellipses added.)

The article mentioned above by Hathaway and Litan is:
Hathaway, Ian, and Robert E. Litan. “The Other Aging of America: The Increasing Dominance of Older Firms.” In Economic Studies at Brookings, The Brookings Institution (July 2014): 1-17.

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