Regulatory Sentiment and Economic Performance

Jungwook, Kim / Jinkyeong, Kim

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Regulatory sentiment refers to the market’s subjective evaluation of regulatory reform and is one of the most widely adopted indicators to those charged with implementing and diagnosing regulatory policies. The use of regulatory sentiment in advanced analysis has become universal, albeit it is often limited due to difficulties in articulating consistent and objective quantitative indicators that can meticulously reflect market sentiment overall. Thus, despite ample effort by scholars to read the economic impact of regulatory sentiment in the real economy, causal links are difficult to spot. To fill this gap in the literature, this study analyzes a regulatory sentiment index and economic performance indicators through a text analysis approach and by inspecting diverse tones in media articles. Using different stages of tests, the paper identifies a causal relationship between regulatory sentiment and actual economic activities as measured by private consumption, facility investment, construction investment, gross domestic investment, and employment. Additionally, as a result of analyzing one-unit impulse of regulatory perception, the initial impact on economic growth and private investment was found to be negligible; this was followed by a positive (+) response, after which it converged to zero. Construction investment showed a positive (+) response initially, which then rapidly changed to a negative (-) response and then converged to zero. Gross domestic investment as the initial effect was negligible after showing a positive (+) reaction. Unfortunately, the facility investment outcome was found to be insignificant in the impulse response test. Nevertheless, it can be concluded that it is necessary and important to increase the sensitivity to regulations to promote the economic effectiveness of regulatory reforms. Thus, instead of dealing with policies with the vague goal of merely improving regulatory sentiment, using regulatory sentiment as an indicator of major policies could be an effective approach.

Issue Date
Korea Development Institute
Journal Title
KDI Journal of Economic Policy
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