Cookie-Cutter Effect of Regulation
By Peter Clark
The best description of the Brussels Effect is “unilateral regulatory globalization” (Bradford, 2012). Per Bradford (2012) this “..occurs when a single state can externalize its laws and regulations outside its borders through market mechanisms, resulting in the globalization of standards…”. Can this apply to regulatory regimes intra-jurisdictionally? In other words, can nearly identical regulations be applied under categorically homogeneous conditions? In the U.S., we have seen campaigns to “externalize” the regulatory frameworks of alcohol and tobacco (age restrictions, control boards, excise taxes, etc.) to emerging markets for recreational cannabis.
The Cookie-Cutter Effect of Regulation is a natural corollary of the Brussels Effect, but instead of being a geographically applying previously established regulatory regime, it is the application of similar regulations to categorically similar commodities and conduct. If it works in one similar country, it might work in another. If it works for alcohol, it might work for marijuana; this is the core assumption underlying this concept.