Rescuing Regulation

By Reza R. Dibadj

Subjects: Business And Government
Paperback : 9780791468845, 236 pages, June 2007
Hardcover : 9780791468838, 236 pages, October 2006

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Table of contents


Part I. Conventional Polarities
        1. Traditional Perspectives
                     Definitions and History
                     Justifications for Regulation
        2.   Lambasting Regulation
                     Foundations of the Critique
                           1. Chicago school
                           2. Contestability theory
                           3. Public choice
        3.   Where Is Society Left?
                     Direct effects: Industry Consolidation and Scandal
                     Indirect effects: Economic insecurity and the Retreat of "Publicness"

Part II. The Economic Case for Regulation
        4.   Beyond Flawed Assumptions . . .
                     Unraveling the Chicago school
                           1. Worshipping efficiency
                           2. Downplaying transaction costs
                           3. Ignoring behavioral biases
                           4. Preordaining initial entitlements
                           5. Normativity as science?
                     Rethinking Contractarianism
                           1. Some inconsistencies
                           2. Exalting the private
        5.   . . . Toward New Research
                     Post-Chicago Law and Economics
                     Core Theory
                     Behavioral Economics
                     Special Problems of New-Economy Industries
                      Some Commonalities

Part III. A Path Forward
        6.   Substantive Reform
                     Social Regulation: Rescuing Cost/Benefit Analysis
                     Economic Regulation: Gaining Access to Bottlenecks
                     Reachieving Publicness
                           1. Basic principles
                           2. Reforming the regulation of public corporations
        7.   Institutional Changes
                     Limited Agencies
                     Some Objections
                           1. Aren't government actors biased?
                           2. Why not courts as frontline arbiters?
                           3. Isn't this giving up on participatory democracy?


Fashions a new way of defending the importance of economic regulation.


The traditional debate on governmental regulation has run its course, with economically minded analysts pointing to regulation's inefficiency while those focused on justice purposefully avoid the economic paradigm to defend regulation's role in protecting consumers, workers, and society's disadvantaged. In Rescuing Regulation, Reza R. Dibadj challenges both camps. He squarely addresses the shortcomings of the conventional economic critique that portrays regulation as a waste, and also confronts those focused on justice to marshal economic arguments for public intervention against social inequities and abusive market behavior. Providing novel answers to the questions of why and how to regulate, Dibadj contends that the law and economics paradigm must not remain an apologist for laissez-faire public policy. He also demonstrates how incorporating the latest economics and revamping institutions can help improve our public agencies. Rescuing Regulation not only suggests ways to develop public institutions reflective of a democracy, but also broadly outlines how social science can inform normative legal discourse.

Reza R. Dibadj is Associate Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco.