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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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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11927.pdf
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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
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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
Note: DAE POL
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  1. Thomas W. Ross, 1984. "Store Wars: The Chain Tax Movement," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 34, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
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  9. Libecap, Gary D, 1992. "The Rise of the Chicago Packers and the Origins of Meat Inspection and Antitrust," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(2), pages 242-62, April.
  10. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
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  12. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "The Rise of the Regulatory State," NBER Working Papers 8650, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Butters, Gerard R, 1977. "Equilibrium Distributions of Sales and Advertising Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 465-91, October.
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  15. Sukkoo Kim, 2001. "Markets and Multiunit Firms from an American Historical Perspective," NBER Working Papers 8232, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Cady, John F, 1976. "An Estimate of the Price Effects of Restrictions on Drug Price Advertising," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(4), pages 493-510, December.
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