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CEP discussion paper

Evaluating the impact of Sunday trading deregulation


During the past few decades a number of European countries lifted the regulations that restricted the opening hours of shops on Sunday. In this paper we examine the impact of Sunday trade deregulation on employment, expenditure, prices and market structure using a difference-in-difference empirical framework and data from 30 European countries over the period 1999-2013. The results exhibit significant heterogeneity across products and sectors. We find robust evidence of a positive overall impact on employment. Expenditure also increases, but not for all retail product categories. We find no evidence of a significant impact on prices. Our findings have important policy implications, particularly for governments that try to combat high unemployment in the aftermath of the economic crisis.


Svetoslav Danchev and Christos Genakos

3 March 2015     Paper Number CEPDP1336

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Growth programme.