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Preventing Regulatory Capture
Special Interest Influence and How to Limit it

$28.99 (P)

Daniel Carpenter, David Moss, William Novak, Richard Posner, James Kwak, Nolan McCarty, Luigi Zingales, Jonathan Lackow, Sanford Gordon, Catherine Hafer, Christopher Carrigan, Susan Webb Yackee, Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, Daniel Schwarcz, M. Elizabeth Magill, Richard Revesz, Michael Livermore, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jim Leach
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  • Date Published: October 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107646704

$ 28.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • When regulations (or lack thereof) seem to detract from the common good, critics often point to regulatory capture as a culprit. In some academic and policy circles it seems to have assumed the status of an immutable law. Yet for all the ink spilled describing and decrying capture, the concept remains difficult to nail down in practice. Is capture truly as powerful and unpreventable as the informed consensus seems to suggest? This edited volume brings together seventeen scholars from across the social sciences to address this question. Their work shows that capture is often misdiagnosed and may in fact be preventable and manageable. Focusing on the goal of prevention, the volume advances a more rigorous and empirical standard for diagnosing and measuring capture, paving the way for new lines of academic inquiry and more precise and nuanced reform.

    • The first book-length treatment of regulatory capture to be published in more than three decades
    • Provides a new, testable definition of regulatory capture
    • Provides original case studies offering a new direction on capture scholarship and prevention
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “This collection deftly sharpens our thinking about the nature of regulatory capture. It compiles the most multidimensional treatment we have of capture and the American regulatory state.” – John Braithwaite, Australian National University

    “This is an enormously useful collection that goes beyond alleging and lamenting regulatory capture to provide diagnostic tools for evaluating purported instances of captured regulatory regimes and institutional techniques for avoiding their emergence and mitigating their effects.” – Jerry Mashaw, Yale University

    “’Regulatory capture’ is an often used, little understood term. It is quoted frequently by those who would like to question a regulation for any of a number of agendas without an effort to understand the science or reason behind it. Daniel Carpenter, David Moss, and the co-authors have written a long overdue analysis of the issue and what, when proven true, can be done about it. – Christine Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey and former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107646704
    • length: 530 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 150 x 33 mm
    • weight: 0.7kg
    • contains: 18 b/w illus. 23 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Daniel Carpenter and David Moss
    Part I. Failures of Capture Scholarship:
    1. A revisionist history of regulatory capture William Novak
    2. The concept of regulatory capture: a short, inglorious history Richard Posner
    3. Detecting and measuring capture Daniel Carpenter
    Part II. New Conceptions of Capture - Mechanisms and Outcomes:
    4. Cultural capture and the financial crisis James Kwak
    5. Complexity, capacity, and capture Nolan McCarty
    6. Preventing economists' capture Luigi Zingales
    7. Corrosive capture? The dueling forces of autonomy and industry influence in FDA pharmaceutical regulation Daniel Carpenter
    Part III. Misdiagnosing Capture and Case Studies of Regulatory Success:
    8. Capturing history: the case of the Federal Radio Commission in 1927 David Moss and Jonathan Lackow
    9. Conditional forbearance as an alternative to capture: evidence from coal mine safety regulation Sanford Gordon and Catherine Hafer
    10. Captured by disaster? Reinterpreting regulatory behavior in the shadow of the Gulf oil spill Christopher Carrigan
    11. Reconsidering agency capture during regulatory policymaking Susan Webb Yackee
    12. Coalitions, autonomy, and regulatory bargains in public health law Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar
    Part IV. The Possibility of Preventing Capture:
    13. Preventing capture through consumer empowerment programs: some evidence from insurance regulation Daniel Schwarcz
    14. Courts and regulatory capture M. Elizabeth Magill
    15. Can executive review help prevent capture? Richard Revesz and Michael Livermore
    Conclusion David Moss and Daniel Carpenter
    Afterword Sheldon Whitehouse and Jim Leach.

  • Editors

    Daniel Carpenter, Harvard University, Massachusetts
    Daniel Carpenter is the Allie S. Freed Professor of Government and Director of the Center for American Political Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. His first book, The Forging of Bureaucratic Autonomy: Reputations, Networks and Policy Innovation in Executive Agencies, 1862–1928, was awarded the APSA's Gladys Kammerer Prize, as well as the Charles Levine Prize of the International Political Science Association. His second book, Reputation and Power: Organizational Image and Pharmaceutical Regulation at the FDA, received the 2011 Allan Sharlin Memorial Award from the Social Science History Association. Professor Carpenter has held fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Brookings Institution and the Santa Fe Institute. He has received grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Scholars in Health Policy 1998–2000, Investigator Award in Health Policy Research 2004–7), the Alfred Sloan Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation and the Safra Center for Ethics.

    David A. Moss, Harvard University, Massachusetts
    David Moss is the John G. McLean Professor at Harvard Business School and the President of the Tobin Project, the nonprofit research organization which sponsored this volume. He has published numerous books and articles on economic policy and policy history, including When All Else Fails: Government as the Ultimate Risk Manager, which won the American Risk and Insurance Association's Annual Kulp-Wright Book Award for the 'most influential text published on the economics of risk management and insurance'. Other books include Socializing Security: Progressive-Era Economists and the Origins of American Social Policy, A Concise Guide to Macroeconomics, and Government and Markets: Toward a New Theory of Regulation (Cambridge University Press, 2010, co-edited with Edward Balleisen). Professor Moss is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Robert F. Greenhill Award, the Editors' Prize from the American Bankruptcy Law Journal, and the Student Association Faculty Award for outstanding teaching at Harvard Business School.


    Daniel Carpenter, David Moss, William Novak, Richard Posner, James Kwak, Nolan McCarty, Luigi Zingales, Jonathan Lackow, Sanford Gordon, Catherine Hafer, Christopher Carrigan, Susan Webb Yackee, Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, Daniel Schwarcz, M. Elizabeth Magill, Richard Revesz, Michael Livermore, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jim Leach

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