Title: The JRC Statistical Audit of the Restrictiveness Index for seven regulated professions
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2018
JRC N°: JRC113454
ISBN: 978-92-79-96746-7 (online)
ISSN: 1831-9424 (online)
Other Identifiers: EUR 29407 EN
OP KJ-NA-29407-EN-N (online)
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC113454
DOI: 10.2760/209047
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: The European Commission highlights the role of regulation in creating obstacles to the functioning of the single market and holding back the potential for growth and job creation in the EU economies. Removing such barriers opens up opportunities and has a positive impact on the productivity and competitiveness of the EU economy. In this context, the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs has developed the Restrictiveness Index, which aims to measure the intensity of the national regulations in the 28 Member States of the European Union with regard to entering and exercising seven professions: accountant, architect, civil engineer, lawyer, patent agent, real estate agent and tourist guide. In so doing, it raises some conceptual and practical challenges, which are discussed in the Restrictiveness Index report. The goal of this Joint Research Centre audit report is to assess the statistical coherence of the Restrictiveness Index and the impact of its modelling assumptions. These analyses lead to the following key findings. First, the statistical coherence of the Restrictiveness Index is confirmed. The more the conceptual framework embraces the statistical structure, the greater the reliability of the indicator will be. In our case, different degrees of alignment are identified between the conceptual framework and the statistical framework, with the greatest alignment for the profession of real estate agent, and the least alignment for the profession of lawyer. Second, the Restrictiveness Index’s country rankings and scores are relatively robust to methodological assumptions. Hence, it is not sensitive to perturbations in the weights and in the aggregation formula. Third, exclusive or shared reserved activities, educational requirements and title protection have high impacts on the Restrictiveness Index. Fourth, quantitative restrictions seem to be the least restricted indicator given that it provides the least information in terms of regulation intensity. In addition, it records the least influence on the indicator framework and the weakest association with it. Future editions of the Restrictiveness Index should carefully reconsider the profession of lawyer, because the restrictions related to compulsory registration in professional bodies are negatively associated with the overall index. This shows that it moves in the opposite direction within the conceptual and statistical framework.
JRC Directorate:Joint Research Centre Corporate Activities

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