Since the advent of modern regulation there has been significant debate regarding how to regulate. For years agencies relied primarily upon �command and control� regulation, much to the chagrin of many economists and businesses. In this traditional form of regulation, the government often establishes mandatory performance standards regarded as inefficient, cumbersome and ineffective by critics. Over the last two decades, some agencies have begun to use alternative forms of regulation, including market-based programs such as emission trading schemes, incentive-based systems relying upon taxes and subsidies, and information-based regulation. Critics of these newer styles of regulation contend that serious implementation problems preclude their widespread use. While articulated in terms of efficiency and efficacy, disputes over the choice of regulation are often influenced by political ideologies and strategic maneuvering by affected businesses.
In this seminar, we will examine the theoretical underpinnings of several major types of regulation, as well as the practical issues involved in implementing and enforcing each. We will explore the selection and impact of regulatory forms from legal, economic, political and sociological viewpoints. While the seminar will emphasize environmental regulation, it will also cover other areas such as corporate securities and taxation. Students will be expected to participate in class discussions of the readings (which will be roughly the equivalent of one or perhaps two law review articles each week) and to write a paper related to the subject matter of the seminar.