Can expert feedback improve SMEs’ views of government’s regulatory legitimacy? Evidence from Thailand
By Allen Hicken, Edmund J. Malesky, Songkhun Nillasithanukroh and Markus Taussig
Funded by the International Growth Centre (IGC)
This pilot study finds that firms which participate in an online space, has a positive impact on firms' perception of the quality of the consultation process and their view of the government’s regulatory legitimacy.
Past research indicates that an in-person Notice and Comment (N&C) process improves regulatory compliance by increasing trust in government. But these findings may not directly transfer to a digital N&C process.
The lack of direct human interactions can lead firms to feel unheard and disengaged and thus undermine their views of the government’s regulatory legitimacy and efforts toward compliance.
To deal with such backlash, our team implemented a ‘Regulatory Room’, allowing representatives from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to meet with legal experts who provide advice on the comprehensibility, relevance, and feasibility of their comments.
The pilot study found that participating in the Regulatory Room has a positive impact on firms’ perception of the quality of the consultation process and firms’ view of the government’s regulatory legitimacy.
The conclusion suggests that governments should extend access to legal experts for resource-constrained stakeholders and consider other innovations to improve the quality of the consultation process.
Policy Brief, Economic Governance