Studies in Public Regulation
"Regulation" has long been a venomous term in the conservative vocabulary, and "deregulation" (of the airlines and the trucking industry) has recently acquired a benign definition in the liberal lexicon. Across the political spectrum there has been growing distrust of regulators, their motives, and their methods. The assumption that regulation necessarily operates in the public interest has been replaced by skepticism in some quarters and by cynicism in others. And yet the public goals of regulation are still widely regarded as desirable. The proper alternative to poor regulatory performance may not always be deregulation; finer-tuned legislation and better implementation might promote the common good more effectively. The regulatory agencies could be regulated and made self-regulating, rather than simply abolished. Such general issues and case reports on specific industries, agencies, and policies are examined in Studies in Public Regulation. The book is based on papers presented at a conference jointly sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research and the National Science Foundation, and its contributors are economists and public policy specialists of national reputation. The editor, Gary Fromm, is President of Investment Intelligence Systems Corporation in Washington, D.C. and a former Director of Research of the National Bureau of Economic Research. The book is the fourth volume in the series "Regulation of Economic Activity," edited by Richard Schmalensee, Professor of Management at MIT's Sloan School.