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A Compliance Return Method to Evaluate Different Approaches to Implementing Regulations: The Example of Food Hygiene Standards

Williamson, David, Pugh, Geoff and Akinbote, Mayowa (2024) A Compliance Return Method to Evaluate Different Approaches to Implementing Regulations: The Example of Food Hygiene Standards. Economics, 18 (1). ISSN 1864-6042

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Abstract or description

We investigate how different approaches to the implementation of regulations affect compliance by evaluating the implementation of food hygiene standards in four English authorities. We draw upon regulatory theory in general together with specific literature on food hygiene standards to advance a new “compliance return” concept, which enables compliance outcomes and resource inputs to be considered jointly. We operationalize “compliance return” as part of a low-cost methodology for evaluating the relative effectiveness of different approaches to implementing food hygiene standards. We find that different approaches to implementation have significant impacts on food policy outcomes. Specifically, implementation ranged from a greater emphasis on deterrence to a greater emphasis on cooperation, with cooperation resulting in greater compliance and deterrence requiring less resource input. When compliance level is considered alongside resource input, to assess the overall “compliance return,” a stronger case emerges for a deterrence approach. The food policy implications are two-fold: (i) implementation affects policy outcomes, and (ii) the measure of “compliance return” developed and implemented in this article offers a low-cost approach to support the ex-post evaluation of implementation choices. The Compliance Return approach may be applicable more widely, especially where there is discretion regarding how regulations are to be implemented.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: evaluation; approaches to implementing regulations; food safety regulation; “compliance return”; local government
Faculty: Staffordshire Business School > Accounting and Finance
Depositing User: Geoff PUGH
Date Deposited: 22 May 2024 14:18
Last Modified: 22 May 2024 14:18

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