The aim of this paper is twofold. Firstly, applying the “Ease of doing business” World Bank indicator, the article analyses the impact of economic regulation on growth in a cross section of about 150 countries in the period 1990-2004. Secondly, the article examines the relationship between regulation and the underlying legal origins in the various countries. According to our estimations, economic regulation is correlated with economic growth, in the sense that growth is, on average, faster in the countries with more business-friendly regulation (as measured by the above-mentioned indicator). Confirming a finding of the literature, we ascertain a negative correlation between civil law origins and regulation. Finally, we briefly discuss the relevance of legal origins as instrumental variables for economic regulation.