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Regulation can be considered as legal restrictions promulgated by government authority. One can consider at least two levels in democracies -- legislative acts, and implementing specifications of conduct imposed sanction (as a fine). This administrative law or implementing regulatory law is in contrast to statutory or case law.
Regulation mandated by a state attempts to produce outcomes which might not otherwise occur, produce or prevent outcomes in different places to what might otherwise occur, or produce or prevent outcomes in different timescales than would otherwise occur. Common examples of regulation include attempts to control market entries, prices, wages, pollution effects, employment for certain people in certain industries, standards of production for certain goods, the military forces and services. The economics of imposing or removing regulations relating to markets is analysed in regulatory economics.