Industry Self-regulation Under Government Intervention

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Industry actors (organizations, associations) can influence the way in which firms comply with regulations. This study examines how this influence process is affected by government intervention.

METHODS: Using official, anonymized data from the entire industry of financial intermediation in the Netherlands (N = 8655 firms), we examine how firms’ affiliations with industry actors relate to (1) voluntary actions aligned with improving regulatory compliance (e.g., requesting audits, attending workshops), and (2) law violations. Industry actors are distinguished between trade associations and the industry’s self-regulatory organization (SRO), which is subject to more government intervention. The analysis employs Poisson regressions to explain count variables, and bootstrapping to assess indirect associations. A series of robustness tests focus on relevant sub-samples, employ exact matching to address possible self-selection, and incorporate lagged dependent variables.

RESULTS: The association between affiliations with industry actors and law violations is negative and significant. This association is more indirect for trade associations than for the SRO (i.e., it is more strongly mediated by the voluntary actions firms take and which help to improve compliance).

CONCLUSIONS: These findings go in line with the theory that government intervention makes industry-self regulation more mandated and less voluntary. Under less government intervention, industry actors may promote more voluntary efforts to comply.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-205
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Quantitative Criminology
Issue number1
Early online date20 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Firm compliance
  • Government intervention
  • Industry self-regulation


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