Fall 2010: Preventing Capture, An Initiative and Forthcoming Volume

In recent years, our country has weathered shared disasters of great magnitude, calling into question the resilience of a range of societal institutions, from our financial system to our oil rigs. These events suggest that proper regulation is both necessary and, in too many cases, in need of significant improvement. Yet, as policymakers aim to prevent future crises, contemporary scholarship has not offered adequate insight into where regulation can  be effective and how to strengthen weak or captured agencies.

Toward this end, Tobin launched an initiative in 2010 to examine the potential for regulation to solve social problems without falling prey to industry capture. Tobin’s Preventing Regulatory Capture initiative aims to produce new scholarship capable of transforming the contemporary discourse on regulation. Motivated by their work with policymakers on financial regulatory reform, Daniel Carpenter (Harvard University, Government) and David Moss (Harvard Business School) have assembled a team of top scholars to produce a volume on Preventing Capture that could definitively recast our understanding of capture and improve the accuracy and practical impact of this scholarship. Scholars participating include Richard Posner (University of Chicago Law School), Mariano-Florentino Cuèllar (Stanford Law School), and Richard Revesz (Dean, NYU Law School).

In November, the authors convened to workshop drafts of their chapters. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) joined the group to offer his perspective on the importance of this research effort from Congress, where he is holding hearings and drafting legislation to target regulatory capture. 



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