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There has been ongoing concern that some regulations, rules, and government policies place a disproportionate burden on small businesses and entrepreneurs. For this reason, small businesses often receive special regulatory treatment, such as exemptions from legislation or extended deadlines for compliance. However, the desire to support small businesses can come into conflict with the interest in addressing the concerns that led to the regulation or policy in the first place. Moreover, it is often unclear whether special regulatory treatment for small businesses is having the intended effect. This book sheds light on these issues through analysis of the regulatory and public policy environment with regard to small businesses, including focused studies in four key areas: health insurance, workplace safety, corporate governance, and business organization. The authors offer support for the idea that the regulatory environment has a different effect on the behavior of small businesses than it has on that of large ones. However, they also demonstrate that policies designed specifically to help small businesses do not always have the intended effect. The lack of a consistent definition of small business confounds our understanding of these issues. The book suggests possible directions for future policy that achieves a better balance between the interest in restricting firm behavior through regulation and the desire to encourage small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    The Impact of Regulation and Litigation on Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship: An Overview

    Lloyd Dixon, Susan M. Gates, Kanika Kapur, Seth A. Seabury, and Eric Talley

  • Chapter Three

    State Health-Insurance Mandates, Consumer-Directed Health Plans, and Health Savings Accounts: Are They a Panacea for Small Businesses?

    Susan M. Gates, Kanika Kapur, and Pinar Karaca-Mandic

  • Chapter Four

    Small Businesses and Workplace Fatality Risk: An Exploratory Analysis

    John Mendeloff, Christopher Nelson, Kilkon Ko, and Amelia Haviland

  • Chapter Five

    Sarbanes-Oxley’s Effects on Small Firms: What Is the Evidence?

    Ehud Kamar, Pinar Karaca-Mandic, and Eric Talley

  • Chapter Six

    Do the Owners of Small Law Firms Benefit from Limited Liability?

    John A. Romley, Eric Talley, and Bogdan Savych

  • Chapter Seven

    Data Resources for Policy Research on Small Businesses

    Amelia Haviland and Bogdan Savych

  • Chapter Eight


  • Appendix A

    Criteria Used to Define Small Business in Determining Thresholds

    Ryan Keefe, Susan M. Gates, and Eric Talley

  • Appendix B

    Methodology for Analysis of Small Businesses and Workplace Fatality Risk

    John Mendeloff, Christopher Nelson, Kilkon Ko, and Amelia Haviland

  • Appendix C

    Regression Analysis for Analysis of Small Businesses and Workplace Fatality Risk

    John Mendeloff, Christopher Nelson, Kilkon Ko, and Amelia Haviland

  • Appendix D

    Firms’ Reasons to Go Private or Go Dark After Sarbanes-Oxley

    Ehud Kamar, Pinar Karaca-Mandic, and Eric Talley

The research described in this monograph was conducted by the Kauffman-RAND Institute for Entrepreneurship Public Policy (KRI), which is housed within the RAND Institute for Civil Justice (ICJ). KRI’s work is supported by a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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