Past Seminars & Events



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Risks and Regulatory Challenges of Unconventional Oil and Gas Development
4:30-6:00pm | Jon M. Huntsman Hall G50

Bernard Goldstein
Emeritus Professor and Dean
University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

Mitchell Small
H. John Heinz Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University

Hannah Wiseman
Attorney’s Title Professor
Florida State University College of Law

Adam M. Finkel
Senior Fellow and Executive Director, Penn Program on Regulation University of Pennsylvania Law School

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Essential Elements for a Successful Regulatory System: A Practitioner's Perspective
12:00 – 1:20 pm | Penn Law Tanenbaum 145
Stanley L. Laskowski
Lecturer & Academic Advisor, Master of Environmental Studies Program

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

PPR Annual Regulation Dinner
6:30 – 8:00 pm | Penn Law
Paul R. Verkuil
Chairman, Administrative Conference of the United States

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Developmental Evaluation and Regulatory Excellence
12:00 – 1:20 pm | Penn Law Tanenbaum 145
Alan M. Barstow
Academic Director, Penn Organizational Dynamics Program

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Leadership Dispatches: Chile's Extraordinary Comeback from Disaster
4:30-6:00pm | Jon M. Huntsman Hall G50

Michael Useem
William and Jaclyn Egan Professor of Management and Director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Howard Kunreuther
James G. Dinan Professor of Decision Sciences and Public Policy, and Co-Director, Center for Risk Management and Decision Processes, Wharton School.  

Erwann O. Michel-Kerjan
Executive Director, Center for Risk Management and Decision Processes, Wharton School, and Chairman of the OECD Secretary General Board on Financial Management of Catastrophes.

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

What Do Agencies’ Strategic Plans Tell Us About Regulatory Excellence?
12:00 – 1:20 pm | Penn Law Tanenbaum 145
Adam M. Finkel
Senior Fellow & Executive Director, Penn Program on Regulation

Tuesday, March 19, 2015

Tackling Tobacco: Lessons in Regulatory Leadership
12:00-1:20pm | Gittis 213

Dr. David A. Kessler
Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, 1990-1997; Professor, University of California - San Francisco School of Medicine

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March 2015

Defining and Measuring Regulatory Excellence
Penn Law
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March 2015

Aboriginal Dialogue on Best-in-Class Regulation
Alberta, Canada
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Climate Change Policy and the Upcoming Paris COP21 Talks
4:30-6:00pm | Jon M. Huntsman Hall G50

Michael Oppenheimer
Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School and Department of Geosciences, Princeton University

David G. Victor
Professor; Director, Laboratory on International Law and Regulation, UC San Diego

Elke Weber
Jerome A. Chazen Professor of International Business; Co-Director, Center for the Decision Sciences, Columbia University

Sunday, April 12 - Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Best-in-Class Regulator Dialogue
Calgary, Alberta
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Fall 2014

Thursday, September 30, 2014

Agency Expertise and the Need for Limits on Agency Discretion: Some Evidence from the FTC
Noon-1:15pm | Gittis 213
The Hon. Joshua D. Wright
Commissioner, US Federal Trade Commission

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How Do Bank Regulators Determine Capital Adequacy Regulations?
4:30-6:00pm | Penn Law
Eric Posner
Kirkland and Ellis Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago Law School

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

An Insider’s View of the Art and Science of Financial Regulation
Noon | Silverman 280
Troy Paredes
Distinguished Policy Fellow and Lecturer; Former Commissioner, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Tuesday, November 7, 2014

Agenda-Setting in the Regulatory State
PPR Workshop | Washington, DC
Keynote Speaker:
Paul R. Verkuil
Chair, Administrative Conference of the United States

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Regulating Climate Change
4:30-6:00 pm | G50 Huntsman Hall
Joel Beauvais
Associate Administrator for the Office of Policy
United States Environmental Protection Agency

Dallas Burtraw
Darius Gaskins Senior Fellow and Associate Director, Center for Climate and Electricity Policy Resources for the Future
Tomás Carbonell
Attorney, Environmental Defense Fund
Jeffrey R. Holmstead
Partner, Bracewell & Giuliani; Former EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation

Moderated by
Cary Coglianese
Edward B. Shils Professor of Law and Director, Penn Program on Regulation
University of Pennsylvania Law School


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cybersecurity and its Challenges
4:30-6:00 pm | G50 Huntsman Hall
Matthew Blaze
Associate Professor, Computer and Information Science (CIS), University of Pennsylvania
Edward W. Felten
Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs, Princeton University
Jeffrey Vagle
Executive Director, The Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition, University of Pennsylvania Law School



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Does Regulation Kill Jobs?: A Panel Discussion on PPR’s Latest Book
4:30-6:00 pm | Wharton School
Richard L. Revesz
Dean Emeritus and Lawrence King Professor of Law, New York University
Sarah L. Stafford
Professor of Economics, Public Policy and Law, College of William & Mary
Cary Coglianese
Director, Penn Program on Regulation; Edward B. Shils Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania
Adam Finkel
Executive Director, Penn Program on Regulation, University of Pennsylvania

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Improving Regulation in Theory and Practice
4:30-6:00 pm | Silverman 147 (room change)
Hon. Howard Shelanski
Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Government regulation affects nearly every aspect of the economy, delivering important benefits to society but also imposing substantial burdens as well. The challenge for policymakers, particularly in a period of economic recovery, lies in trying to maximize regulation’s benefits while minimizing its burdens. At this seminar, Howard Shelanski, the head of the White House office charged with overseeing regulation across the federal government, will share his insights about how to improve regulation in theory and practice. As the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Shelanski holds what Senator Rob Portman has called "the most important job in Washington that nobody has ever heard of." President Obama nominated him to this position in April 2013 and he took office following his confirmation by the U.S. Senate in June 2013. Shelanski was previously the Director of the Bureau of Economics at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and he has also served as Chief Economist of the Federal Communications Commission and as a Senior Economist for the President's Council of Economic Advisers. He has been a member of the faculties of Georgetown University (since 2011) and the University of California at Berkeley (1997-2009), where his teaching and research have focused on regulation and antitrust policy. Before beginning his academic and government career Shelanski practiced law and served as a law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia of the United States Supreme Court, to Judge Louis H. Pollak of the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, and to Judge Stephen F. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Shelanski received a B.A. from Haverford College, and a J.D. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. Hide View Details

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Regulation and Jobs: The Evidence and the Issues
9:00-10:30 | Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis
Cary Coglianese,
Penn Program on Regulation
Christopher Carrigan
George Washington University
Adam Finkel
Penn Program on Regulation
Brian Mannix
George Washington University
Ann E. Ferris,
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How Well is Obamacare Working?: A Panel Discussion
4:30-6:00 pm | G50 Huntsman Hall
Tom Baker
Measey Professor of Law and Health Sciences, Penn Law
Mark Duggan
Rowan Family Foundation Professor, Wharton School
Mark V. Pauly
Bendheim Professor, Wharton School

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Does Regulation Kill Jobs?: Book Discussion
10:00-Noon | George Washington University
Cary Coglianese
Penn Program on Regulation
Christopher Carrigan,
George Washington University
Adam Finkel
Penn Program on Regulation

Thursday, April 9, 2014

The Future of Telecommunications…Near and Far
12:00-1:00 | Location TBD
Gerald R. Faulhaber
Presented by CTIC and Penn Program on Regulation
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Does Regulation Kill Jobs?: Book Discussion
12:00-1:30 | Harvard Kennedy School
Joseph Aldy
Harvard Kennedy School
Cary Coglianese
Penn Program on Regulation
Lisa Robinson
Harvard Kennedy School

FALL 2013

September 16, 2013
Understanding Regulation's Impact on Employment
Workshop (open to the public)
1:00-3:30 pm | Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2237, Washington D.C.
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October 11, 2013
Legacy and Innovation: Unlocking Value in Regional Energy Assets
A Penn Provost Interdisciplinary Conference
9:00am–4:00 pm | Golkin 100 (Fitts Auditorium)
University of Pennsylvania Law School
Monday, October 14, 2013
Risk and Opportunity: Managing Risk for Development
4:30-6:00 pm | G50, Jon M. Huntsman Hall
Norman Loayza,
Director, 2014 World Development Report, World Bank
Stéphane Hallegatte,
Senior Economist, World Bank
Kyla Wethli,
Core Team, 2014 World Development Report, World Bank
Moderator: Erwann Michel-Kerjan, Wharton School
October 15, 2013
Reforming the Swaps Market with Transparency and Oversight
Hon. Gary Gensler, Chairman, Commodity Futures Trading Commission
12:00–1:30 pm | Golkin 100 (Fitts Auditorium)
University of Pennsylvania Law School
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Learning from Hurricane Sandy: A Panel Discussion on Reducing Future Disaster Losses
4:30-6:00 pm | G50, Jon M. Huntsman Hall
Moderator: Howard Kunreuther, Wharton School
Katherine Greig,
Senior Policy Advisor at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability
Sean Kevelighan,
Government and Industry Affairs for Zurich North America
Marion Mollegen McFadden,
Chief Operating Officer at Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, and Supervisory Attorney at the Department of HUD
Roy E. Wright,
FEMA's Deputy Associate Administrator for Mitigation
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
The Promise and Limits of Private Power: Promoting Labor Standards in a Global Economy
4:30-6:00 pm | G50, Jon M. Huntsman Hall
Richard M. Locke
Howard Swearer Director, Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies
Professor, Department of Political Science, Brown University
Moderator: Cary Coglianese, Penn Law
December 10, 2013
Does Regulation Kill Jobs?
Book Panel
1:30-3:00 pm | Hilton Baltimore
Society for Risk Analysis


Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Cass R. Sunstein Deciding By Default: Some Lessons from Behavioral Economics
4:30-6:00 pm | Fitts Auditorium, Golkin Hall
Cass R. Sunstein
Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
Details: Impersonal default rules, whether chosen by private or public institutions, establish starting points for countless goods and activities: cell phones, rental car agreements, computers, savings plans, health insurance, websites, privacy, and much more. Some of these rules do a great deal of good, but others can be poorly chosen, perhaps because those who select them are insufficiently informed, perhaps because they are self-interested, perhaps because one size does not fit all. The existence of heterogeneity argues against impersonal default rules. The obvious alternative to impersonal default rules, of particular interest when individual situations are diverse, is active choosing, by which people are required to make decisions on their own. The choice between impersonal default rules and active choosing depends largely on the costs of decisions and the costs of errors. In this seminar, Professor Sunstein will discuss settings where impersonal default rules have significant advantages and settings where active choosing may be best. He also argues that it is increasingly possible for private and public institutions to produce highly personalized default rules, which reduce the problems with one-size-fits-all defaults. He considers both the challenges – including concerns about individual privacy – and opportunities created by an increasingly feasible world of personalized rules.

Cass R. Sunstein is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court, served as an attorney-advisor in the Office of the Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice, and from 1981-2008 was a faculty member at the University of Chicago Law School. From 2009 to 2012, Sunstein served as the administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). A prolific scholar, he is author of numerous articles and books, including (2001), Risk and Reason (2002), Why Societies Need Dissent (2003), The Second Bill of Rights (2004), Laws of Fear: Beyond the Precautionary Principle (2005), and Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (with Richard H. Thaler, 2008). Hide
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February 19, 2013

Kosher: Private Regulation in the Age of Industrial Food (Book on Amazon)
12 p.m. | Silverman 147
Timothy D. Lytton
Albert and Angela Farone Distinguished Professor of Law, Albany Law School
Details: Generating over $12 billion in annual sales, kosher food is big business. It is also an unheralded story of private-sector regulation in an era of growing public concern over the government’s ability to ensure food safety. Kosher uncovers how independent certification agencies rescued American kosher supervision from corruption and turned it into a model of nongovernmental administration.

Currently, a network of over three hundred private certifiers ensures the kosher status of food. But at the turn of the twentieth century, kosher meat production in the United States was notorious for price-fixing, racketeering, and even murder. Reform came with the rise of independent kosher certification agencies which established uniform industry standards, rigorous professional training, and institutional checks and balances to prevent mistakes and misconduct. In overcoming many of the problems of insufficient resources and weak enforcement that hamper the government, private kosher certification, Timothy Lytton argues, holds important lessons for improving food regulation. He sees the growing popularity of kosher food as a response to a more general cultural anxiety about industrialization of the food supply. Like the organic and locavore movements, a growing number of consumers see rabbinic supervision as a way to personalize today’s complex, globalized system of food production.

Timothy D. Lytton is the Albert and Angela Farone Distinguished Professor of Law at Albany Law School where he teaches torts, administrative law, legislation, and regulatory law & policy. He holds B.A. and J.D. degrees from Yale University and has served as a fellow in the Harvard University Program in Ethics and the Professions as well as the Hartman Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. He is editor of Suing the Gun Industry: A Battle at the Crossroads of Gun Control and Mass Torts (University of Michigan Press 2005) and author of Holding Bishops Accountable: How Lawsuits Helped the Catholic Church Confront Clergy Sexual Abuse (Harvard University Press 2008). His forthcoming book, Kosher: Private Regulation in the Age of Industrial Food will be released by Harvard University Press in April 2013. Hide
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Robert Stavins Climate Change, the IPCC, and International Policy Architecture
4:30-6:00 pm | G50, Huntsman Hall
Robert Stavins
Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Details: In his presentation, Professor Stavins, who is serving as Coordinating Lead Author of Chapter 13 – “International Cooperation: Agreements and Instruments” – of Working Group III of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), will describe the ongoing international consultative process through which the IPCC carries out its work and will summarize the substance of the focus of Chapter 13, which surveys and synthesizes the scholarly literature on international policies, institutions, and agreements pertaining to climate change. The chapter’s scope includes climate policy principles and architectures; lessons from existing climate and non-climate international agreements; linkages between such agreements and regional and national policies; interactions between climate change policy and other policies; and the performance of climate policies and institutions.

Stavins is Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Director of Doctoral Programs, Co Chair of the Harvard Business School Kennedy School Joint Degree Programs, and Director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements. He is a University Fellow, Resources for the Future, a Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research, and a Fellow, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. He was Chairman of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Economics Advisory Committee, and has served as Lead Author of the Second and Third Assessment Reports and Coordinating Leading Author of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He is Co-Editor of the Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, an editor of the Journal of Wine Economics, and a member of the Board of Directors of Resources for the Future, the Scientific Advisory Board of the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, and various editorial boards. Hide
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April 2, 2013

Two Presidents Are Better than One: The Case for a Bipartisan Executive Branch
12 p.m. | Silverman 147
David Orentlicher
Samuel R. Rosen Professor of Law, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Details: The seeds for political dysfunction in Washington were planted when the founding fathers placed a single person atop the executive branch. With the tremendous expansion of presidential power over time, the party out of power has huge incentives to engage in obstruction so it can reclaim the White House at the next election. And because executive decisions reflect a single perspective, many presidential policies are poorly chosen and greatly detrimental to the national interest. In this seminar, Professor Orentlicher shows how shared governance in the Oval Office can defuse partisan conflict and improve presidential decision making.

David Orentlicher is Samuel R. Rosen Professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. A scholar of constitutional law and a former state representative, he has written on a range of constitutional issues, including affirmative action, freedom of speech and the separation of powers. A graduate of both Harvard Law School and Harvard Medical School, he also specializes in health care law and ethics. Previously, he served as a visiting DeCamp Professor in Bioethics at Princeton, and he also directed the division of medical ethics at the American Medical Association for six years. While there, he helped develop positions on end-of-life decisions, organ transplantation, reproductive issues and physicians' conflicts of interest that have been incorporated into law or cited by courts and government agencies in their decision making. Orentlicher has held adjunct appointments at the University of Chicago Law School and Northwestern University Medical School, and an earlier book, "Matters of Life and Death," was published by Princeton University Press. A member of the American Law Institute, he currently serves as an adviser to the American Law Institute's Project on Principles of Government Ethics. Hide
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Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Richard Falkenrath The Hackers' Market - Cybersecurity in the Digital Age
4:30 – 6:00 p.m. | G50 Huntsman Hall
Richard Falkenrath
Principal, The Chertoff Group
Details: In this seminar, Dr. Falkenrath will survey and assess the current risk of cyber-espionage to the U.S. government and economy and analyze options to manage that risk. After showing how we currently lack any coherent measure of the cost of cyber-security, he will discuss the menu of responses available to the U.S. government and to the private sector. He will focus in particular on the concept of "active defense" – also known as "hackback" – which is taking hold in certain at-risk segments of private industry.

Dr. Richard A. Falkenrath is a Principal with The Chertoff Group, where he advises clients on a broad array of homeland and national security issues relating to counterterrorism, law enforcement, physical and digital network security, and risk management. In addition, he is Contributing Editor at Bloomberg News; a Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis Adjunct Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security at the Council on Foreign Relations; a Member of the Director’s Review Committee of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; a Member of the Defense Threat Reduction Advisory Committee; and a member of the Aspen Strategy Group. Dr. Falkenrath recently served as the Deputy Commissioner for Counterterrorism at the New York City Police Department (NYPD) from 2006 to 2010.  Previously he was the Director for Proliferation Strategy on the National Security Council staff in the Bush White House, where he was responsible for biological weapons proliferation and preparedness, missile defense, and Asian proliferation issues. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Dr. Falkenrath was named Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Policy and Plans within the Office of Homeland Security. In January 2003, he was promoted to Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Homeland Security Advisor. Hide
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April 12, 2013

The Economic Dynamics of Law
12 p.m. | Silverman 147
David M. Driesen
University Professor, Syracuse University College of Law
Details: Traditionally, the field of law and economics has treated government regulation as if it were a mere transaction. This microeconomic approach to law assumes that government regulators should aim to make their decisions efficient by seeking to equate costs and benefits at the margin. In this seminar, Professor Driesen argues that the microeconomic model of government regulation misconceives the essence of regulation. Government regulation produces not an instantaneous transaction, but a set of rules intended to influence future conduct, often for many years. Accordingly, regulation provides a framework for private resource allocation, rather than allocating resources itself. This framework often performs a macroeconomic role by reducing systemic risks that might permanently impair important economic, social, and natural systems. His approach focuses on the shape of change over time in order to avoid systemic risk. He proposes that regulators rely on what he calls economic dynamic analysis in their decision-making, which requires regulators to study how relevant actors respond to economic incentives, taking into account the specific bounds that apply to each group of regulated actors. Such analysis requires, in particular, consideration of countervailing incentives that may defeat legal incentives, as well as the use of scenario analysis in the case of some of our most serious problems.

Professor David M. Driesen is the University Professor at Syracuse University’s College of Law, where he researches and has taught environmental law, law and economics, and constitutional law. He engages in public service mostly focused on defending environmental law’s constitutionality, supporting efforts to address global climate disruption, and reconceptualizing environmental law. He has written numerous amicus briefs in Supreme Court cases and has represented then-Senators Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joseph Biden, and others in Clean Air Act litigation in the D.C. Circuit Hide
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FALL 2012

September 27-28, 2012

Regulation's Impact on Jobs: Economic Analysis and Institutional Reform
3:30 pm, Thursday – 3:30 pm, Friday | G214
University of Pennsylvania Law School

October 15, 2012

Using Transnational Commercial Contracts to Regulate Business
12:00 pm | Tanenbaum 112
Speaker: Fabrizio Cafaggi, European University Institute
Charles W. Mooney, Penn Law
David Zaring, Wharton School

October 24, 2012

The Future of Chinese Administrative Law
9:30 am – 6:15 pm | Michael A. Fitts Auditorium
Details | Schedule

November 5, 2012

Regulatory Breakdown: The Crisis of Confidence in U.S. Regulation
(A Panel Discussion on PPR's Latest Book)
Noon – 1:15 pm | Penn Bookstore

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 (Cancelled)
Michael R. Taylor Regulating Food Safety in a Global Food System
4:30-6:00 pm | F90 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
Michael R. Taylor
Deputy Commissioner, United States Food and Drug Administration
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Susan S. Silbey Governing Inside the Organization: Interpreting Regulation and Compliance
4:30-6:00 pm | F90 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
Susan S. Silbey
Leon and Anne Goldberg Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Details: How do actors distributed within organizations respond to regulation of their work? Looking inside organizations at actors with different positions, expertise, and autonomy, Professor Silbey will present findings on an in-depth study of safety practices in university laboratories, factories, and transportation to develop a typology of how the regulator, as the focal actor in the regulatory process, is interpreted within organizations. The findings from her study show that organizational actors express constructions of the regulator as an ally, threat, and obstacle that vary with organizational expertise, authority and continuity of relationship between the organizational member and the regulator. Her research contributes in at least three ways to the current understanding of organizational governance and regulatory compliance. First, by deconstructing the fiction of the corporate organization as a person, Silbey documents not only variation across organizations but variable compliance within an organization. Second, the variation she will describe does not derive from alternative institutional logics, but from variations in positions, autonomy, and expertise within each organization. Thus, her second contribution involves a renewed attention to organizational structure and hierarchy that seem to have been displaced in recent attention to cultural schemas and institutionalized norms. By re-introducing hierarchical variation into the analysis of organizational compliance, the typology allows her (and her collaborator in the research) to derive hypotheses concerning variation in organizational governance. She will discuss in this seminar how these constructions may carry differential normative implications and probabilities for compliance and thus her third contribution, the typology, when correlated with organizational hierarchy provides the link between micro-level action and discourse and organizational performance. Hide View Details
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
David Vogel The Politics of Precaution: Regulating Health, Safety and Environmental Risks in Europe and the United States
4:30-6:00 pm | F90 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
David Vogel
Solomon P. Lee Chair in Business Ethics, UC Berkeley
Details: Between 1960 and 1990, American regulatory standards were typically most risk averse, comprehensive and innovative than those adopted in Europe. During the last two decades, global regulatory leadership in risk regulation has shifted to the European Union. This transatlantic shift in relative regulatory stringency is due to changes in the intensity of public demands for more regulation, the political preferences of policy makers, and the legal and administive criteria for assessing and managing risks which took place on both sides of the Atlantic. Hide View Details
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Susan S. Silbey A Regulatory Framework for Managing Systemic Risk
4:30-6:00 pm | Huntsman Hall Room G55
Steven L. Schwarcz
Stanley A. Star Professor of Law & Business, Duke University
Details: Many regulatory responses, like the recent Dodd-Frank Act in the United States, consist largely of politically motivated reactions to the financial crisis, looking for villains (whether or not they exist). To be most effective, however, new financial regulations must be situated within an analytical framework. In this seminar, Professor Schwarcz builds just such a framework, showing that preventive regulation is insufficient and that regulation also must be designed to limit the transmission of systemic risk and reduce systemic consequences. Hide View Details
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Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Michael Greenstone Will Adaptation Save Us from Climate Change?
4:30-6:00 pm | Huntsman Hall Room G55
Michael Greenstone
3M Professor of Environmental Economics, MIT
Details: Climate change is the greatest environmental threat that humanity has ever faced. The three ways to confront it are through mitigation, adaptation, and geo-engineering. The prospects for a global program to reduce CO2 emissions are not very promising, especially in the near and medium term. Geo-engineering is a speculative idea that even if technologically feasible would also be enormously complicated geo-politically. Thus, adaptation will almost surely be an important tool in confronting climate change and this lecture will assess the state of knowledge on our ability to adapt to environmental threats. Some key lessons from the seminar are that humankind has a great deal of experience in adapting to environmental threats but these efforts are often costly. Further, adaptation is most difficult for poor countries and people, underscoring that the costs of climate change are likely to be unequally distributed around the globe. Hide View Details
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Paul Joskow The Future of Nuclear Power After Fukushima
4:30-6:00 pm | Huntsman Hall Room G55
Paul Joskow
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and MIT
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Fall 2011

September 15-16, 2011
Regulatory Breakdown? The Crisis of Confidence in U.S. Regulation
Policy Impact Workshop
Details: Critics on the political left and the right rail against what they perceive as regulation's deficiencies, blaming the US regulatory system for all sorts of social and economic ills. In addition to the housing meltdown and financial crisis, various public health and environmental scares over the last two years have been widely attributed to regulatory failures: the Gulf Coast oil spill, the Upper Big Branch mine explosion, the San Bruno natural gas pipeline explosion, salmonella contamination in eggs, and concerns about sudden acceleration and other defects in automobiles. Those who blame regulation for these recent problems tend to fault its laxity, while others believe that an excessively strict and unreasonably costly regulatory system is hampering investment and job growth as the US struggles toward economic recovery.

Which of these critics are right - if any are? Do the recent public health scares and business disasters reveal a fundamental weakness in the U.S. regulatory system? Or are some failures inevitable even in the best possible regulatory schemes? How much of the sluggish economic recovery can be blamed on regulation?

Perhaps now more than ever, the nation could benefit from rigorous, empirically informed responses to these and related questions. Already Congress and Executive Branch officials have adopted major policy reforms, but policymakers of both parties still continue to call for further reforms in the US regulatory infrastructure.

In September, the Penn Program on Regulation will bring together scholars from across Penn, as well as from other leading universities, to assess US regulation in light of its current crisis of confidence. PPR's invitation-only conference will comprise a working dialogue organized around a series of papers to appear in a book that will be published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in early 2012. Contributors include Jonathan Baron (Penn Psychology), Matthew Baum (Harvard Kennedy School), Lori Bennear (Duke Nicholas School), Bill Bratton & Michael Wachter (Penn Law), Cary Coglianese & Chris Carrigan (Penn Law); Jon Klick, (Penn Law), Susan Moffitt (Brown University Political Science), Roberta Romano (Yale Law), Ted Ruger (Penn Law), Kip Viscusi & Richard Zeckhauser (Vanderbilt Law & Harvard Kennedy School), Susan Wachter (Penn Wharton), and Jason Yackee & Susan Yackee (Wisconsin Law/Political Science).
PPR Hosts Conference on U.S. Regulation Crisis (RegBlog coverage)
Flickr Photo Set: Regulatory Breakdown?
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011 4:30-6:00 pm | Huntsman Hall Room G50
Ambiguity and Climate Policy
Geoffrey Heal
Paul Garrett Professor of Public Policy and Business Responsibility Columbia Business School
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Monday, October 10, 2011
Subversion or Coordination? Examining the Role of Regulatory Agency Design in the Gulf Oil Disaster
12:00-1:15 pm, Rare Book Room, Tanenbaum 253 (inside Biddle Law Library)
Chris Carrigan, Fellow, Penn Program on Regulation
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011
China's Regulatory State
12:00 pm, Rare Book Room, Tanenbaum 253 (inside Biddle Law Library)
Penn Law School
Research Seminar with Prof. Roselyn Hsueh (Temple University)
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Monday, October 24, 2011
Book Symposium
Networks in Telecommunications: Economics and Law
4:30-6:00 pm, Faculty Lounge, 144 Silverman Hall
Herbert Hovenkamp, Ben and Dorothy Willie Professor of Law and History, University of Iowa
Howard Shelanski, Professor of Law, Georgetown University
Hon. Stephen F. Williams, United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
Christopher S. Yoo, John H. Chestnut Professor of Law; Professor of Communication; Professor of Computer & Information Science; Director, Center for Technology, Innovation & Competition; co-author (with Daniel Spulber) of Networks in Telecommunications: Economics and Law.
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011 4:30-6:00 pm | Huntsman Hall Room G50
The Tragedy of the Risk-Perception Commons: Culture Conflict, Rationality Conflict, and Climate Change
Dan M. Kahan
Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law, Yale Law School
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011 4:30-6:00 pm | Huntsman Hall Room G50
Out of Balance: How Uncertainty Figures in Risk Analysis and Regulatory Economics
Adam M. Finkel
Senior Fellow and Executive Director, Penn Program on Regulation
Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health, UMDNJ School of Public Health
Details: In this seminar, Adam Finkel, Executive Director of the Penn Program on Regulation, critically examines the disparate treatment given to uncertainty in estimates by risk analysts and economists in the regulatory process. His analysis begins from the premise that errors, overconfidence, or the censoring of information from decision-makers and affected stakeholders are problems whether they occur on the benefit (risks reduced) or on the cost side of the regulatory ledger. He contrasts the substantial improvements in the attention paid to uncertainty by risk assessors over the past 20 years with a striking lack of improvement made by regulatory economists. Finkel develops a 10-level scoring hierarchy for how a regulatory cost analysis could treat uncertainty, presents scores for 75 EPA regulations promulgated in the 1990s, and closely analyzes various major rules from EPA, OSHA, FDA, and NHTSA finalized in the past 10 years. He argue that without a balanced treatment of uncertainty in benefit and in cost, regulatory decisions cannot hope to fulfill their potential, and he offers several sets of disciplinary, bureaucratic, normative, and legal reasons why this asymmetry may persist. By also focusing on how risk assessors and regulatory economists treat differently the aggregate welfare issue — that is, how a distribution of risks to individuals (or of costs to individuals) is summed or integrated to produce a social benefit or social cost estimate — Finkel argues that we currently manage costs and risks differently, as well as assess them with different degrees of rigor. Hide View Details

Spring 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 4:30-6:00 pm | F45 Huntsman
"Induced Development in Risky Locations: Fire Suppression and Land Use in the American West"
Sheila Olmstead, Fellow, Resources for the Future
Download Abstract (PDF)

Tuesday, February 22, 4:30-6:00 pm | F45 Huntsman
"Insurance Incentives for Improving Health Care Behavior"
Tom Baker, Deputy Dean & William Maul Measey Professor of Law and Health, University of Pennsylvania Law School
Kevin Volpp, Associate Professor of Medicine & Health Care Management, Director, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, Center for Health Incentives, University of Pennsylvania
Download Paper 1 (Baker) [PDF]
Download Paper 2 (Volpp) [PDF]
Details: Poor health habits can contribute to rising health care costs. In recent years, many companies have tried to control costs by adopting wellness programs that encourage employees to quit smoking, lose weight, and exercise more regularly For example, the grocery giant Safeway, Inc., has reportedly kept its health costs from rising by implementing a voluntary program that provides workers with insurance premium discounts if they document progress in improving their health. Section 2705 of the 2010 Patient Protection Affordable Health Care Act seeks to promote such corporate wellness programs by expanding the insurance discounts that companies are allowed to offer their employees. In this seminar, Professor Volpp of Wharton and Penn Medicine will discuss Section 2705 -- known as the Safeway amendment -- and analyze the evidence on how financial incentives can be used to promote healthy behavior. Focusing on the relationship between premium adjustment and biometrics, he will raise the big policy issues raised by the Safeway amendment in terms of efficacy and ethics. Professor Tom Baker of Penn Law will follow with commentary including a discussion of how the Affordable Care Act directs the federal government to encourage public and private health insurance systems to expand the use of health incentives. He will also analyze examples of how similar incentive-based approaches have and have not worked in other lines of insurance in the past. Hide More

Tuesday, March 22, 4:30-6:00 pm | F45 Huntsman
"The Political Economy of Fraud on the Market"
William Wilson Bratton, Professor of Law & Co-Director, Institute for Law and Economics, University of Pennsylvania Law School
Michael L. Wachter, William B. Johnson Prof. of Law and Economics & Co-Director, Institute for Law and Economics, University of Pennsylvania Law School
Download Paper [PDF]
Details: A series of high-profile securities fraud cases over the last decade – from Enron to Madoff – have placed the issue of securities fraud high on the public policy agenda. One longstanding way to address fraud has been to allow private individuals to file class action suits claiming fraud on the market. Although the traditional justifications for fraud on the market class actions are widely thought to have failed, most observers continue to accept these private class action suits as a necessary enforcement supplement to the Securities and Exchange Commission's inadequate resources. Apparently even a private enforcement supplement that no longer makes much sense is better than no private enforcement supplement at all. In this seminar, Professors Bratton and Wachter question the continued acceptance of fraud on the market litigation, analyzing the sticking points that prevent its abolition and mapping a plausible route to a superior enforcement outcome. They recommend making more difficult the standards that plaintiffs need to meet to prevail in private litigation over securities fraud, while at the same time urging Congress to increase the SEC's public enforcement capabilities. The seminar will consider their proposal and will address the corporate governance, political, and economic barriers that need to be overcome to secure its implementation. Professors Bratton and Wachter will show that, as between the public and private sectors, public enforcement offers shareholders more value than does private enforcement. Public enforcement even now yields the shareholders higher damage returns per dollar invested, and it can be deployed more flexibly to target individual wrongdoers so as to enhance deterrence. Hide More

Fall 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 4:30-6:00 pm | F65 Huntsman
Regulating from Nowhere: Environmental Law and the Search for Objectivity
Douglas Kysar, Joseph M. Field '55 Professor of Law, Yale Law School
Matthew Adler
, Leon Meltzer Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School
Adam Finkel, Executive Director, Penn Program on Regulation
Kathleen Segerson, Professor of Economics, University of Connecticut
Details: The dominant economic paradigm in environmental, safety, and health regulation calls for policymakers to calculate and optimize the net benefits of proposed governmental interventions. In this seminar, Professor Kysar draws on his new book, Regulating from Nowhere: Environmental Law and the Search for Objectivity, to challenge that dominant economic paradigm. He criticizes the notion that government responsibility to safeguard life can be adequately addressed from an assumed viewpoint of objectivity and optimization, and he argues that the attempt to specify environmental policies through empirical assessment and formalized choice models -- an attempt found most influentially in cost-benefit analysis — obscures the relation of agency and responsibility that the political community bears to its decisions. He favors relying on the principle of precaution to encourage moral self-awareness by a political community and viewing environmental law as part of the social glue that binds a political community together in pursuit of long-term and uncertain goals. To serve that function, law must have continuity with the concepts, values, and discourses expressed by real people. By literally denying the sacredness of life — and indeed the distinctiveness of anything — dominant economic approaches to environmental law fail these tests.

Tuesday, October 26, 4:30-6:00 pm | F65 Huntsman
Capture by Information: How Information Warfare is Waged in the Administrative State
Wendy Wagner, Joe A. Worsham Centennial Professor, University of Texas School of Law
Details: The regulatory process is predicated on the assumption that a diverse mix of affected parties will engage in the process and thereby inform government decision making. In this seminar, and in her forthcoming book Information Capture (Cambridge University Press), Professor Wagner argues that this fundamental assumption breaks down in situations when excessive information and related filings are allowed to overwhelm the system. She argues that parties with ample resources and a sufficiently high stake in the outcome can often effectively capture the regulatory process by flooding regulatory officials with so many documents filled with myriad technicalities and details that the issues become inscrutable to most observers. Loading down governmental proceedings with excessive information also increases the costs of participation by others who will be affected by a regulation. As a result, Wagner argues, thinly financed groups drop out of participating in many proceedings due to scarce resources, leaving regulatory development and refinement dominated by a narrow set of interests – typically regulated parties. Even worse, she argues, the courts and the larger regulatory system provide few rewards for agencies that endeavor to take a comprehensive or innovative approach to solving a regulatory problem, and drive them instead to avoid displeasing the purveyors of information. Wagner argues further that information capture poses significant impediments to the expeditious creation of public-benefitting regulations. While government agencies have played information games with regulated parties over the last fifty years, thousands of premature deaths and injuries have occurred in the absence of sufficiently protective regulation for toxic agents in workplaces, communities, the food supply and commonly used commercial and home products.

Background Reading (PDF)

Tuesday, November 16, 4:30-6:00 pm | 1206 Steinberg-Dietrich Hall
Long-term Strategies for Reducing Losses from Extreme Events
Howard Kunreuther, Cecilia Yen Koo Professor; Professor of Decision Sciences and Business and Public Policy; Co-Director, Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Erwann Michel-Kerjan, Managing Director of the Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Details: The past decade has revealed a totally new dimension in losses from extreme events. In the United States the terrorist attacks of 9/11, a series of devastating hurricanes and storm surge, including Hurricane Katrina, and the recent BP oil spill are indicative of a new era of catastrophes. With respect to insurance, of the 25 most costly insured disasters in the world since 1970, 14 occurred since 2001, 12 of which were in the United States. This talk will suggest a role that insurance coupled with well enforced regulations and standards can play in reducing future damage and paying for losses following extreme events. After discussing the evolution over the past four decades of economic and insured losses due to major catastrophes, we propose guiding principles for developing sustainable insurance and mitigation programs. Recognizing that individuals often misperceive risks and are highly myopic we show how multi-year insurance contracts combined with multi-year home improvement loans can overcome these biases. We use the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which covers $1.25 trillion of assets as a candidate for these measures. President Obama signed a one-year extension of the NFIP on September 30, 2010, so there is an opportunity to reform the program and show how these measures are likely to improve the well-being of residents in flood prone areas and social welfare as well as the relevance of multi-year contracts to other extreme events.

View Paper (PDF)

Spring 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 4:30-6:00pm G55 Huntsman
Why the Law is So Perverse
Leo Katz, Frank Carano Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania
Commentators: Bruce Chapman, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto and Lewis Kornhauser, Alfred B. Engelberg Professor of Law, New York University
Details: Virtually all legal regimes share a number of extremely basic features. One of these is what one might call the "either/or" feature: The defendant is guilty or not, liable or not. There are no in-between verdicts, even though reality is rarely so clear-cut. In addition, virtually all legal regimes, even the most totalitarian, are replete with loopholes, and virtually all legal regimes, even the most liberal, clamp down on a truly stunning array of what seem like win-win transactions: surrogacy contracts, organ sales, pollution permits, to name just a few of the better known examples. And virtually all legal regimes shrink back from punishing certain kinds of highly immoral conduct – conduct that morality condemns more severely than many crimes – including rank ingratitude, bad parenting, or being a bad Samaritan. In this seminar based on a forthcoming book, Professor Katz offers a unified explanation for these and similarly universal perversities of the law. The perversities all turn out to be, he argues, traceable to a common cause, which is neither historical, psychological, nor economic, but essentially logical. The perversities arise out of a cluster of logical difficulties already familiar, and much better understood, from a different context, the theory of social choice (or less formally, the theory of voting) and multi-criterion decision-making. In this seminar, Professor Katz will argue that the seemingly inherent perversities of the law turn out to be just the counterpart of one of the many voting paradoxes that lie at the heart of social choice theory.

Download excerpt from "Why the Law is So Perverse" (PDF)

Tuesday, March 23, 4:30-6:00pm G55 Huntsman
Science and Policy after Climate-gate
Gary Yohe, Woodhouse/Sysco Professor of Economics, Wesleyan University
Details: Many in the popular press and other media, as well as some in the halls of Congress, are seizing on a few errors that have been found in the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in an attempt to discredit the entire report. In this seminar, Professor Gary Yohe argues that none of the handful of misstatements (out of hundreds and hundreds of unchallenged statements) remotely undermines the conclusion that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal" and that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-twentieth century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations. He argues for the need to bring the focus back to credible science, rather than invented hyperbole, so that it can bear on the policy debate in the United States and throughout the world. He will also give particular attention to the quality-control mechanisms of the IPCC, and offer some suggestions about what might be done next to improve IPCC practices and restore full trust in climate science. He will conclude the seminar with an analysis of some remaining key policy issues, particularly the challenge of calibrating the economic value of adaptation to climate change.

View Paper (PDF)
Download March 12 letter from scientists to Congressional and other leaders (The letter can also be found here)

Thursday, March 18, 12:00-1:15pm | G52 Silverman Hall
The Missing Dimension of Safety: Risk and Complexity in Tort Law and Regulatory Governance
Angus Corbett, Visiting Scholar, Penn Law; Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney; and Fellow, Centre for Clinical Governance Research in Health at the University of New South Wales
Commentator: Tom Baker, William Maul Measey Professor of Law and Health Sciences, Penn Law
Details: What is the role of law in reducing preventable harm in society? In this seminar, Professor Corbett will discuss his research on the role of tort law and regulation in reducing transportation accidents and medical errors. He argues that the problem of tort law's capacity to induce changes in governance in health care is very different from the problem of preventing injuries on roads. He also draws a clear distinction between preventable harm and negligence, focusing on the role of tort law in inducing or inhibiting changes in the organizations and processes used to deliver health care, particularly changes in governance that have the capacity to reduce the occurrence of preventable harm.
This seminar is free and open to the public. Lunch will be served. For more information please e-mail

View Paper (PDF)

Tuesday, February 23, 4:30-6:00pm | G55, Jon Huntsman Hall
Well-being and Equity: A Framework for Policy Analysis
Matthew Adler, Leon Meltzer Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania
Details: Public policy creates winners and losers. Whether in setting tax policy, executing national defense, or implementing social and economic regulation, governments impose differential impacts on individuals and businesses. Over the years, economists and policy analysts have developed analytical techniques for estimating costs and benefits so as to calculate in meaningful ways the aggregate net benefits of alternative policies. Although these same analysts have long recognized that the distribution of impacts across winners and losers also matters, very little serious analytic work exists showing how to analyze these distributional differences across alternative policies. In this seminar, Professor Matt Adler of the University of Pennsylvania Law School shares the results of a path-breaking project that provides the first in-depth, systematic framework for analyzing both the aggregate and distributional effects of public policies. Drawing on his forthcoming book, Well-Being and Equity: A Framework for Policy Analysis, Professor Adler argues for the use of social welfare functions (SWFs) that are sensitive to fair distribution as well as efficiency. He proposes SWFs as a more attractive approach to policy analysis than cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, and other dominant approaches. Professor Adler draws upon economics, philosophy, and law to provide a systematic defense and elaboration of the SWF framework.

Download Equity Metrics: How to Choose? [PDF]
Download excerpt from Well-Being and Equity (draft) [PDF]

Tuesday, January 26, 4:30-6:00pm | G55, Jon Huntsman Hall
Obama's Regulatory Agenda: A One-Year Retrospective
Susan E. Dudley, Director, The Regulatory Studies Center, George Washington University (former Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs); Sally Katzen, Executive Managing Director, the Podesta Group (former OIRA Administrator); Jeff Ruch, Executive Director, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER); Rena Steinzor, President, Center for Progressive Reform and Professor of Law, University of Maryland; Jim Tozzi, Co-Founder, Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (former Assistant Director, Office of Management & Budget). Moderated by Cary Coglianese, Edward B. Shils Professor of Law and Director, Penn Program on Regulation.
Details: A year after President Obama's inauguration, the Penn Program on Regulation convenes a panel of distinguished commentators to take stock of the administration's regulatory accomplishments and challenges. From health care to climate change to banking reform, the Obama Administration has taken on the most pressing and controversial domestic policy challenges of our time, each with important implications for government regulation. The administration has also launched major initiatives to increase the transparency of executive branch policymaking and to assess the process of White House oversight of regulatory agencies. Drawing on their high level experience inside and outside of government, from across Democrat and Republican administrations, panel members can be expected to offer a full exchange of insight on these and other developments during the past year as well over the path that lies ahead.

View Paper 1 (Coglianese) [PDF]
View Paper 2 (Dudley) [PDF]
View Paper 3 (Steinzor) [PDF]
View Paper 4 (Tozzi) [PDF]

Fall 2009

September 22, 4:30-6:00pm | G65 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
Comparative Effectiveness Research as Social Science: Implications for Technology Assessment in US Health Care Reform
Speaker: David Meltzer, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Department of Economics and Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
Description: The disciplinary roots of medical cost-effectiveness analysis include several social sciences, including economics and psychology, but the influence of many core concepts of these disciplines on cost-effectiveness analysis has been modest. This is especially true with respect to social scientific insights relating to behavior, which is rarely considered in assessing cost-effectiveness. This talk will use social scientific models drawn from economics, sociology, and psychology to reexamine the social-scientific foundations of medical cost-effectiveness analysis with a special focus on the importance of behavior, including the behavior of both patients and providers. Major areas of focus will include the importance of self-selection in cost-effectiveness analysis, the influence of social networks on physician practice patterns, and the determinants of patterns of opinion leadership among physicians.
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October 20, 4:30-6:00pm | G65 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
Regulating in the 21st Century: A New Federal Environmental and Consumer Protection Agency and Other Proposals for Reform
Speaker: J. Clarence "Terry" Davies, Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future.
Description: This seminar will feature a presentation by Terry Davies, a Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future, a former Assistant Administrator for Policy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and one of the authors of the 1970 government reorganization plan that created the EPA. Davies has recently joined with others in concluding that the U.S. health and environmental regulatory system has become "largely dysfunctional" and that "new technologies, such as nanotechnology and synthetic biology, will challenge the system even more." The solution, he will argue in his presentation, lies in an ambitious proposal intended to spur fundamental, rather than incremental, change in how government responds to environmental and health challenges. Davies proposes to reorganize six federal agencies (EPA, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission) into a cabinet-level "Department of Environmental and Consumer Protection." The new Department would emphasize cradle-to-grave oversight of industrial products, using risk assessment and economic analysis embedded in a technology options analysis framework, and would involve affected stakeholders in decision-making to a much greater extent than currently. Davies' presentation will be followed with commentary on his proposal by two discussants: E. Donald Elliott (Yale Law School and a former EPA General Counsel) and Marissa Golden (Bryn Mawr College and author of What Motivates Bureaucrats?).
View Proposal (PDF)

November 17, 4:30-6:00pm | F60 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
Does the Sarbanes-Oxley Act Have a Future?
Speaker: Roberta Romano, Oscar M. Ruebhausen Professor of Law and Director, Yale Law School Center for the Study of Corporate Law, Yale Law School.
Description: Although the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) received nearly unanimous congressional support in 2002, only a few years thereafter its wisdom was increasingly questioned and its supporters had to stave off attempts to recraft the legislation. The financial crisis of 2008 has sidelined efforts to alter the legislation's most costly provision (a requirement that management certify the adequacy of its internal accounting and other controls, and that an outside auditor attest to that certification), as Congress's attention has turned to overhauling the regulatory regime for financial institutions. There is, nonetheless, much to be learned about financial regulation and SOX's future, from an in-depth examination of the interplay of the government and private commissions created with an eye to revising the legislation, media coverage of those entities, and congressional responses. That interaction provides a map of political fault lines and assists in forecasting the prospects for recrafting SOX's certification provision. It also serves as a cautionary tale regarding significant regulation enacted in the midst of a financial-market crisis. The ongoing financial crisis has sidelined SOX, but its burdensome costs suggest that it might well, in due course, reemerge on the legislative agenda.
View Paper (PDF)

Spring 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 4:30-6:00 p.m. | G 50 Jon Huntsman Hall
"Is EPA Protecting Public Health? New Directions for Risk Assessment in the Incoming Administration and Beyond"
Speaker: Thomas Burke, Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Training, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
View Article
View Papers (pdf): 1 | 2

Tuesday, February 24, 4:30-6:00 p.m. | G50 Jon Huntsman Hall
Climate Change: Nature and Action
Speaker: Thomas E. Lovejoy, President, The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment, Washington DC
View Abstract (pdf)
View Articles (pdf): 1 | 2
View Presentation (pdf - 10MB)
Presentation Video Clips (wmv): 1 | 2 | 3

Tuesday, March 24, 4:30-6:00 p.m. | G50 Jon Huntsman Hall
Rethinking Regulation in the Wake of the Financial Crisis
Speaker: David Moss, John G. McLean Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA
Details: In the face of the current economic crisis, there are now many calls for dramatic reform - and even overhaul - of economic regulation in the United States. What role should scholars play in this discussion, and what role can they play? What have been the greatest strengths and weaknesses in the study of regulation over recent decades, and what types of new work are most urgently needed? These are the central questions that will inform the discussion on March 24th.
View Paper (pdf)

Tuesday, April 21, 4:30-6:00 p.m. | G50 Jon Huntsman Hall, The Wharton School
Risks and Opportunities of Manned and Unmanned Space Flight
Speaker: Molly K. Macauley, Senior Fellow and Director of Academic Programs, Resources for the Future, Washington, DC
View Papers (pdf) 1 | 2 | 3
View Abstract (PDF)

Fall 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 4:30-6:00 p.m. | G50, Jon Huntsman Hall
Should Different Regulatory Agencies Use Different Values of Statistical Lives?
Speaker: Lisa Robinson
Topic: "Should Different Regulatory Agencies Use Different Values of Statistical Lives?"
View Paper (PDF)
Details: The benefits of Federal environmental, health, and safety regulations often result largely from the value of mortality risk reductions. For example, over 80 percent of the monetized benefits of air pollution regulations are attributable to averted premature mortality. Both theory and empirical research suggest that the value of these risk reductions may vary depending on their characteristics (e.g., on whether they are associated with particularly dreaded events, such as terrorism) and on the characteristics of those affected (e.g., their age and income). However, Federal agencies are adopting similar value per statistical life (VSL) estimates despite differences in the risks they regulate. This seminar will explore the VSL estimates used by various U.S. agencies and the potential effects of risk and population differences on these estimates. It will also address the advantages and drawbacks of using estimates tailored to particular regulatory scenarios, which could provide better information on the economic efficiency of policy options but may also raise equity concerns.

Tuesday, October 28, 4:30-6:00 p.m. | G50, Jon Huntsman Hall
Re-Regulating the Financial Markets In View of the Government Bailouts
Speaker: Dwight Jaffee, Willis Booth Professor of Banking, Finance, and Real Estate
Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
View Paper 1 (PDF)
View Paper 2 (PDF)
Topic: "Re-Regulating the Financial Markets In View of the Government Bailouts"
Details: The subprime crisis has been active now for almost 2 years. The government has used taxpayer resources to bail out extremely large financial firms and now an entire asset class (subprime mortgages). If the resulting moral hazard is left unchecked, even greater crises are likely. Nevertheless, the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve have offered no proposals to reform the regulation of the investment banks and the government-sponsored enterprises. In this presentation, Professor Jaffee will offer a proposal that he argues will (i) minimize the need for a Fed bailout in a future crisis, (ii) effectively maximize the role of market discipline in controlling risky activities, and (iii) maintain the overall efficiency of the US capital markets.

Tuesday, November 18, 4:30-6:00 p.m. | G50 Jon Huntsman Hall
The Preemption War: When Federal Bureaucracies Trump Local Juries
Speaker: Thomas O. McGarity, Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Endowed Chair in Administrative Law
The University of Texas at Austin School of Law
Topic: "The Preemption War: When Federal Bureaucracies Trump Local Juries"
Download Flyer for Book (PDF)
Download excerpt from Book (PDF)
Details: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has, during the George W. Administration, dramatically departed from its traditional hands-off policy with regard to federal preemption of state common law claims in the context of pharmaceuticals approved by that agency. No substantive change in the relevant statute, regulations or case law has prompted the agency's aggressive new stance on preemption. Rather, it is primarily motivated by the outgoing Administration's decision to bypass Congress in its eagerness to implement a long-standing "tort reform" agenda.
The Supreme Court will soon decide whether the Administration's position that state common law failure to warn cases pose such a clear obstacle to FDA's accomplishment of its statutory goals that such claims are preempted by the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act. This is case represents a major skirmish in the ongoing "preemption war" that has been waged since the Supreme Court's landmark Cipollone decision, in which it held that the word "requirement" in a federal cigarette labeling law's express preemption clause included the duties imposed by state common law.
The Bush Administration did not limit its aggressive efforts to preempt state tort law to FDA. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Federal Railroad Commission have adopted similar stances under their statutes, all of which contain express preemption clauses.
My presentation will describe the ongoing preemption war and analyze the relevant issues in the context of federal regulation of pharmaceutical products. As I argue in greater detail in my forthcoming book, "The Preemption War: When Federal Bureaucracies Trump Local Juries, the outcome of this war is critical to the ability of the common law to provide corrective justice to injured plaintiffs and protective justice for those of us who have not yet been injured but are at risk from products and activities that are otherwise subject to federal regulation.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Careers in Administrative and Regulatory Law
12:00 - 1:15 pm | Tanenbaum 145
Jonathan J. Rusch
U.S. Department of Justice
Ken Hurwitz
Haynes and Boone

Friday, March 30, 2012

Transaction Cost Regulation
12:00 pm | Faculty Lounge
Pablo T. Spiller
Visiting Professor of Law, Columbia University
Jeffrey A. Jacobs Distinguished Professor of Business & Technology, University of California, Berkeley
Details: In this talk Professor Pablo Spiller of the University of California, Berkeley will present some of his recent research on theories of the contractual interaction between governments and private investors rooted in what he calls Transaction Costs Regulation. TCR sees regulation as the governance structure of these interactions, and thus, as in standard transaction cost economics, it sees the nature of the contracts as adaptations to hazards inherent to these interactions. In the talk Professor Spiller will emphasize the inherent hazards in procurement contracts, and how those hazards make government procurement contracts different from private to private contractual arrangements. He will show that the specificity and rigidity that characterizes public contracting is an equilibrium political adaptation to the risk of opportunistic challenges by third parties, leading to seemingly expensive and inefficient contracting as opposed to private-to private transactions. He will develop multiple empirical implications and applications to such varied settings as the role of free media and contestable political markets on contracting, bureaucracies, fixed price v cost plus contracts, PPPs, contractors' certifications, and so on.
Download Paper 1 [PDF]
Download Paper 2 [PDF]