The Equivalence Approach to Securities Regulation

Wei, Tzung-bor | January 1, 2007

It is undisputed that the world’s financial markets are becoming increasingly international and increasingly integrated. “How should regulators respond?” is a hotly contested issue. Academic literature debates two competing approaches to international securities regulation–“harmonization” and “regulatory competition.” Harmonization is the idea that rules and regulations should be standardized across countries as much as possible. Countries may achieve harmonization by ceding lawmaking authority to an international body or agency; alternatively, countries may agree to enact similar rules through their normal, domestic rule-promulgating procedures. In contrast to the harmonization approach stands the regulatory competition approach. Under this model, countries do not coordinate with one another–each country is free to enact whatever rules and regulations it chooses.