Tuesday and Thursday, 2:15p to 3:45p, Room 285
Public regulators exert a pervasive influence over large swaths of industrial activity. Even where government has sought to rely more heavily on market forces, regulation is nonetheless often omnipresent. This course will introduce major theories and cases on the role of regulation in modern economies, with emphasis on competition, environmental protection, and product safety. Examples will be drawn mainly from electricity and utilities, oil & gas, telecommunications, chemicals, and food. The course will provide a comprehensive introduction to regulatory oversight of these industries in the U.S. and will address common themes and challenges, such as the limited ability of regulators to elicit accurate information from their subjects, rent-seeking, and the impact of regulation on technological innovation. Some attention will be given to comparisons with other countries and to the increasingly role of international institutions, such as the World Trade Organization, that constrain the scope and style of national regulation.