QuantLaw: Saul Levmore on Regulating Internalities
Date: Monday, March 10
Open to students and to the public
About the Lecture
Much health and safety regulation can be understood as the product of political coalitions between two groups. The first, consisting of persons with self-control issues, enlists the government as an intermediary. The second either expects to benefit from the success of the first, or anticipates gains from a tax imposed on the first group's behavior. A political entrepreneur might plausibly turn these groups' preferences into law. This public choice perspective on regulation provides a positive explanation of why it is more likely that a legal system will engage in some health and safety programs than in others. The important break from the conventional view of regulation, as something that either controls externalities or is imposed paternalistically, is in advancing the idea that the government is an intermediary deployed by those who want help. Internalities, associated with collective action problems or with time inconsistent preferences, deserve equal billing. The discussion considers smoking regulation and other health and safety regulation, and then contrasts these with anti-obesity efforts where private contracting is a more feasible means of controlling internalities, and where political coalitions are less likely.
For more information about this lecture contact Prof. Jane Bambauer
Information on Saul Levmore can be found at: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/levmore