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A Case for Quantity Regulation

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  • Edward L. Glaeser
  • Andrei Shleifer

Abstract

Contrary to the standard economic advice, many regulations of financial intermediaries, as well as other regulations such as blue laws, fishing rules, zoning restrictions, or pollution controls, take the form of quantity controls rather than taxes. We argue that costs of enforcement are crucial to understanding these choices. When violations of quantity regulations are cheaper to discover than failures to pay taxes, the former can emerge as the optimal instrument for the government, even when it is less attractive in the absence of enforcement costs. This analysis is especially relevant to situations where private enforcement of regulations is crucial.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard - Institute of Economic Research in its series Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers with number 1909.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:1909

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  1. Hay, Jonathan R & Shleifer, Andrei, 1998. "Private Enforcement of Public Laws: A Theory of Legal Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 398-403, May.
  2. Louis Kaplow & Steven Shavell, 1997. "On the Superiority of Corrective Taxes to Quantity Regulation," NBER Working Papers 6251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Edward Glaeser & Simon Johnson & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "Coase Versus The Coasians," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 853-899, August.
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  1. Externalities, rules and prices
    by Jim in Our Word is Our Weapon on 2008-03-05 10:48:23
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Cited by:
  1. Raghuram G. Rajan & Ioannis Tokatlidis, 2005. "Dollar Shortages and Crises," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(2), September.
  2. Michael Mandler, 2001. "Accessible Pareto-Improvements: Using Market Information to Reform Inefficiencies," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1320, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Jonathan Gruber & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2006. "The Church vs the Mall: What Happens When Religion Faces Increased Secular Competition?," NBER Working Papers 12410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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