- Copyright Page
- Rational Choice and Politics: An Introduction to the Research Program and Methodology of Public Choice
- Choosing among Governments
- Public Choice: Early Contributions
- From Paired Comparisons and Cycles to Arrow’s Theorem
- Institution-Induced Stability
- Voting Power
- Aggregation of Information by Binary Voting Rules
- Political Choices in One Dimension: Theory
- Political Choices in One Dimension: Applications
- Spatial Voting Models of Party Competition in Two Dimensions
- Spatial Social Choice
- Economic Voting
- Valence Politics
- The Study of Strategic Voting
- Turnout: Why Do Voters Vote?
- Expressive Voting
- Altruism and Political Participation
- Social Embeddedness and Rational Turnout
- Information Cues and Rational Ignorance
- Campaign Finance
- Primaries, Conventions, and Other Methods for Nominating Candidates: How Do They Matter?
- Logrolling and Coalitions
- Collective Action
- Rent Seeking: The Social Cost of Contestable Benefits
- The Structure of Contests and the Extent of Dissipation
- The Political Economy of Rent Creation and Rent Extraction
- Empirical Evidence on Rent-Seeking Costs
- “The Bureaucracy” as an Interest Group
- Interest Groups and Regulatory Capture
- The Political Economy of Trust
- Contested Political Persuasion
- Stochastic Process Models of Preference Change
- Leadership as Persuasion
- Fairness Concepts
- Social Contract versus Invisible Hand: Agreeing to Solve Social Dilemmas
- Utilitarianism as a Criterion for State Action
- Public Choice and Happiness
- Kantianism and Political Institutions
- Public Choice and Libertarianism
- Public Choice and Social Democracy
- Supreme Values, Totalitarianism, and Terrorism
- Fair Division in Dispute Resolution
- Fair Division in Allocating Cabinet Ministries
Abstract and Keywords
Economic orthodoxy before 1971 suggested that regulatory intervention could improve on market outcomes in cases of market power, negative spillover effects, or asymmetric information. That orthodoxy was overturned in 1971 with the publication of George Stigler’s “Theory of Economic Regulation,” which concludes that regulatory agencies are vulnerable to capture by special interest groups who shape regulatory outcomes in ways that benefit the regulated industry itself at consumers’ expense. Many empirical studies have since then confirmed Stigler’s theoretical insights. This chapter summarizes the major theoretical and empirical contributions to the literature on economic regulation, provides an overview of the various groups that can capture the regulatory process, and summarizes more recent contributions highlighting regulation’s regressive effects and the “revolving door” between regulatory agencies and regulated firms.
William F. Shughart II is Research Director and Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute and J. Fish Smith Professor in Public Choice at Utah State University.
Diana W. Thomas is Associate Professor and Director of the Institute for Economic Inquiry in the Heider College of Business at Creighton University.
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