Regulation and Public Interests : The Possibility of Good Regulatory Government

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-10-08
  • Publisher: Princeton Univ Pr

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Not since the 1960s have U.S. politicians, Republican or Democrat, campaigned on platforms defending big government, much less the use of regulation to help solve social ills. And since the late 1970s, "deregulation" has become perhaps the most ubiquitous political catchword of all. This book takes on the critics of government regulation. Providing the first major alternative to conventional arguments grounded in public choice theory, it demonstrates that regulatory government can, and on important occasions does, advance general interests. Unlike previous accounts,Regulation and Public Intereststakes agencies' decision-making rules rather than legislative incentives as a central determinant of regulatory outcomes. Drawing from both political science and law, Steven Croley argues that such rules, together with agencies' larger decision-making environments, enhance agency autonomy. Agency personnel inclined to undertake regulatory initiatives that generate large but diffuse benefits (while imposing smaller but more concentrated costs) can use decision-making rules to develop socially beneficial regulations even over the objections of Congress and influential interest groups. This book thus provides a qualified defense of regulatory government. Its illustrative case studies include the development of tobacco rulemaking by the Food and Drug Administration, ozone and particulate matter rules by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Forest Service's "roadless" policy for national forests, and regulatory initiatives by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.

Author Biography

Steven P. Croley is professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: An Uneasy Commitment to Regulatory Governmentp. 1
The Cynical View of Regulatory Government, and Its Alternativesp. 7
The Basic Projectp. 9
The Cynical View of Regulationp. 14
Is Regulatory Capture Inevitable?p. 26
Alternative Visions of Regulatory Governmentp. 53
The Administrative Regulatory Statep. 77
Opening the Black Box: Regulatory Decisionmaking in Legal Contextp. 81
Regulatory Government as Administrative Governmentp. 102
Participation in Administrative Decisionmakingp. 118
The Administrative-Process Approach Expanded: A More Developed Picturep. 134
Public Interested Regulationp. 157
The Environmental Protection Agency's Ozone and Particulate Matter Rulesp. 163
The Food and Drug Administration's Tobacco Initiativep. 180
The Forest Service's Roadless Policy for National Forestsp. 196
Socially Beneficial Administrative Decisionmaking: Additional Evidencep. 213
Public Choice and Administrative Processp. 237
The Public Choice Theory Revisitedp. 241
The Promise of an Administrative-Process Orientationp. 258
Regulatory Rents, Regulatory Failures, and Other Objectionsp. 284
Conclusion: The Regulatory State and Social Welfarep. 304
Notesp. 307
Indexp. 365
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