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Limberg, Julian; Steinebach, Yves; Bayerlein, Louisa; Knill, Christoph (15. June 2020): The more the better? Rule growth and policy impact from a macro perspective. In: European Journal of Political Research: pp. 1-17
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Abstract

Do more rules improve overall policy performance? To answer this question, we look at rule growth in the area of environmental policy from an aggregate perspective. We argue that impactful growth in rules crucially depends on implementation capacities. If such capacities are limited, countries are at risk of ‘empty’ rule growth where they lack the ability to implement their ever‐growing stock of policies. Hence, rules are a necessary, yet not sufficient condition for achieving sectoral policy objectives. We underpin our argument with an analysis of the impact of a new, encompassing measure of environmental rule growth covering 13 countries from 1980 to 2010. These findings call for ‘sustainable statehood’ where the growth in rules should not outpace the expansion in administrative capacities.