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The Political Economy of "Truth-in-Advertising" Regulation During the Progressive Era

  • Zeynep Hansen
  • Marc T. Law

This paper explores the origins and impact of "truth-in-advertising" regulation during the Progressive era. Was advertising regulation adopted in response to rent-seeking on the part of firms who sought to limit the availability of advertising as a competitive device? Or was advertising regulation desired because it furnished a mechanism through which firms could improve the credibility of advertising? We find the available qualitative and quantitative evidence to be more consistent with the latter hypothesis.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11927.

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Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Hansen, Zeynep K. and Marc T. Law. “The Political Economy of Truth-in-Advertising Regulation during the Progressive Era.” Journal of Law and Economics 51, 2 (May 2008): 251-69.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11927
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  1. McCluskey, Jill J., 1999. "A Game Theoretic Approach to Organic Foods: An Analysis of Asymmetric Information and Policy," 2000 Conference (44th), January 23-25, 2000, Sydney, Australia 123706, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
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  14. Gilligan, Thomas W & Marshall, William J & Weingast, Barry R, 1989. "Regulation and the Theory of Legislative Choice: The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 35-61, April.
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