Self-regulation: a risky option for developing countries? The case of Bangladesh
Azmat, Fara and Coghill, Ken 2005, Self-regulation: a risky option for developing countries? The case of Bangladesh, in Governance and Social Responsibility Proceedings, Monash Governance Research Unit, Monash University, Caulfield East, Vic., pp. 1-10.
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Monash Governance Research Unit, Monash University
Place of publication
Caulfield East, Vic.
In recent years, the command and control type of government regulation is giving way to self- regulatory approaches in which industry sectors are responsible for controlling the conduct of their own members. Although self-regulatory approaches are increasingly being adopted with the objective of both improving the rate of compliance and reducing costs in developed countries, this paper argues that this might be a risky option. Developing countries often do not have adequate levels of standards of efficiency, effective legal regulatory frameworks, institutional safeguards and public awareness. Using the Bangladesh agriculture sector as an exemplar, this paper investigates the prospects of self-regulation of small businesses trading in agricultural inputs as a possible remedy for the recent problems associated with the sale of contaminated inputs to the farmers. The paper argues that self-regulation does not develop and is not sustained independently of the context in which business operates. Importantly, the context includes the legal infrastructure created by the state and the enforcement effort imposed by the state. In the absence of effective state intervention in the public interest, institutional safeguards and public awareness, private entrepreneurs are less constrained to behave in the public interest and in conformity with the objectives of self-regulation. The findings of this paper provide significant implications for addressing the issue of effective regulation in developing countries.
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