Do regulations really kill jobs?

On a jobs tour this week to launch her U.S. Senate campaign, Linda McMahon asked a Milford manufacturer the question that is standard for Republican candidates these days: Do regulations hamper your business?

“He said, ‘No, not really,'” McMahon reported.

A lot of experts agree, at least when it comes to creating and sustaining jobs, Marian Wang reports at ProPublica.

Among them is Richard Williams, Director of Policy Research for the free-market oriented Mercatus Center at George Mason University. While regulations can affect jobs in a particular business or industry, they have relatively little effect on the broader economy because they often require hiring people to enforce or comply with the rules. The real issue is whether the jobs created are a good or as beneficial to society as the jobs lost–a question that has not been adequately studied, Williams told Wang.

“While there is relatively little scholarship on the issue, the evidence so far is that the overall effect on jobs is minimal. Regulations do destroy some jobs, but they also create others. Mostly, they just shift jobs within the economy,” Wang says.