Labour market regulation that undermines freedom of contract leads to fewer, higher productivity jobs with employment being across a narrower range of ages. More people are excluded from the labour market, in highly regulated countries and they remain unemployed for longer. This seems to be damaging to welfare. It is possible that the extent of regulation is explained by the relative ability of those who gain from regulation (those in work) to influence the outcome of political processes to a greater extent than those who lose (the unemployed). However, the legal framework and legal traditions may also play a part.