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Efficient Regulation

In: Regulation vs. Litigation: Perspectives from Economics and Law

  • Andrei Shleifer

Regulation of economic activity is ubiquitous around the world, yet standard theories predict it should be rather uncommon. I argue that the ubiquity of regulation is explained not so much by the failure of markets, or by asymmetric information, as by the failure of courts to solve contract and tort disputes cheaply, predictably, and impartially. The approach accounts for the ubiquity of regulation, for its growth over time, as well as for the fact that contracts themselves are heavily regulated. It also makes predictions, both across activities and across jurisdictions, for the efficiency of regulation and litigation as strategies of enforcing efficient conduct.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Daniel P. Kessler, 2010. "Regulation vs. Litigation: Perspectives from Economics and Law," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kess09-1, October.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11957.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11957
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.orgEmail:


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    1. Oliver Hart, 2009. "Regulation and Sarbanes-Oxley," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 437-445, 05.
    2. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2003. "The Rise of the Regulatory State," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 401-425, June.
    3. Philippe Aghion & Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Andrei Shleifer, 2009. "Regulation and Distrust," Working Papers hal-00396268, HAL.
    4. Andrei Shleifer & Simeon Djankov & Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez de Silanes, 2003. "The New Comparative Economics," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm355, Yale School of Management.
    5. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins," NBER Working Papers 13608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Anthony Niblett & Richard A. Posner & Andrei Shleifer, . "The Evolution of a Legal Rule," Working Paper 19510, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    7. Casey B. Mulligan & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "The Extent of the Market and the Supply of Regulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1445-1473, November.
    8. Joshua Schwartzstein & Andrei Shleifer, 2013. "An Activity-Generating Theory of Regulation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(1), pages 1 - 38.
    9. 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.
    10. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8883 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
    13. Gennaioli, Nicola & Shleifer, Andrei, 2007. "The Evolution of Common Law," Scholarly Articles 3451305, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    14. Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Patricio A. Fernandez, 2008. "Case Law versus Statute Law: An Evolutionary Comparison," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(2), pages 379-430, 06.
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