To provide a clearer picture of these cross-country differences in regulation ithat are identified by the joint consideration of the three overall measures of regulation (S-KKZ, ONSB: P+L and S-P: Total), we employed a hierarchical cluster analysis using Ward’s methodology to group countries according to the similarity of objective and subjective assessments. Two large
groups of countries emerge quite clearly: a relatively “liberal” group including all English-speaking countries, as well as Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Switzerland; and a relatively “regulated” group including most other continental European countries and Japan. Using a less
restrictive distance criterion we further isolated a group of “ultra-liberal” countries (the US, the UK, New Zealand and Ireland) and a group of “ultra-regulated” countries (France, Italy and Greece).
These results provide a rigorous confirmation of our a priori expectations.
In brief, our conclusion is that all three studies point to the same economic reality, even though they draw upon quite different data and handle the data using very different statistical techniques, in detail. The next step for research is to determine more exactly how these differences
in regulation influence economic performance.