October 2011: Preventing Capture, A Roundtable Discussion in Washington, D.C.

New research emerging from the Tobin Project’s Preventing Capture initiative is now drawing interest among key policymakers in Washington D.C. In October, Tobin convened top administration officials and Congressional leaders with authors from the forthcoming Preventing Capture volume for a lively roundtable dinner to discuss how regulation can serve the public good without falling prey to “capture” by special interests. Along with six members of the U.S House of Representatives, the meeting attracted executive branch leaders, including David Hayes (Deputy Secretary of the Interior), Shelley Metzenbaum (Associate Director of the Office of Management and Budget), and Christopher Schroeder (Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Policy, DOJ). Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) also participated as part of his ongoing involvement in this Tobin Project research effort.

Four of the book’s authors - Nolan McCarty (Princeton University, Politics), David Moss (Harvard Business School), Richard Revesz (Dean of NYU Law School), and Susan Webb Yackee (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Political Science) - presented their research, addressing issues from the role of expertise in financial regulation to the function that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the White House could play to ensure that regulation better serves the public interest. The vibrant conversation lasted for more than two hours, with the scholars offering expertise on questions raised by policymakers, and the policymakers providing valuable feedback on the real-world applicability of the research and suggesting new paths forward for inquiry.


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