The Politics of Government Decision-Making: A Theory of Regulatory Capture
The paper develops an agency-theoretic approach to interest-group politics and shows the following: (1) the organizational response to the possibility of regulatory agency politics is to reduce the stakes interest groups have in regulation; (2) the threat of producer protection leads to low-powered incentive schemes for regulated firms; (3) consumer politics may induce uniform pricing by a multiproduct firm; and (4) an interest group has more power when its interest lies in inefficient rather than efficient regulation, where inefficiency is measured by the degree of informational asymmetry between the regulated industry and the political principal (Congress). Copyright 1991, the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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