Regulatory Breakdown: The Crisis of Confidence in U.S. Regulation

Regulatory Breakdown: The Crisis of Confidence in U.S. Regulation

Regulatory Breakdown: The Crisis of Confidence in U.S. Regulation brings fresh insight and analytic rigor to what has become one of the most contested domains of American domestic politics. Critics from the left blame lax regulation for the housing meltdown and financial crisis – not to mention major public health disasters ranging from the Gulf Coast oil spill to the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion. At the same time, critics on the right disparage an excessively strict and costly regulatory system for hampering economic recovery. With such polarized accounts of regulation and its performance, the nation needs now more than ever the kind of dispassionate, rigorous scholarship found in this book.

With chapters written by some of the nation's foremost economists, political scientists, and legal scholars, Regulatory Breakdown brings clarity to the heated debate over regulation by dissecting the disparate causes of the current crisis as well as analyzing promising solutions to what ails the U.S. regulatory system. This volume shows policymakers, researchers, and the public why they need to question conventional wisdom about regulation – whether from the left or the right – and demonstrates the value of undertaking systematic analysis before adopting policy reforms in the wake of disaster.

View Table of Contents (pdf) | Read Preface (pdf) | Read Chapter 1 (SSRN)
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Nobles | Penn Press
Visit the extensive online series about the book at The Regulatory Review

Regulatory Breakdown Conference

Photos from the Import Safety Conference

L to R (above): Penn Law students; Cary Coglianese; Susan Webb Yackee; Richard Revesz; William Bratton
Lo to R (below): Richard Berk; Chris Carrigan and Susan Wachter; Susan Moffitt; Manuel Gomez

On September 15-16, 2011, leading economists, legal scholars, and other regulatory experts shared their work at Penn Law. The book, Regulatory Breakdown, collects the revised papers from this illuminating gathering.

Conference Overview (The Regulatory Review) | Conference Photos (Flickr)


Cary Coglianese Read Editor Bio


Jonathan Baron • Matthew A. Baum •  Lori S. Bennear  • William W. Bratton •  Christopher Carrigan  • Eric Helland  • Jonathan Klick  • Adam J. Levitin  • William T. McEnroe  • Susan L. Moffitt •  Christopher Poliquin •  Roberta Romano •  Theodore W. Ruger •  W. Kip Viscusi •  Michael L. Wachter •  Susan M. Wachter •  Jason Webb Yackee •  Susan Webb Yackee  • Richard Zeckhauser Read Author Bios

What people are saying about the book Regulatory Breakdown

In the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Regulatory Breakdown addresses two vital questions: Why do catastrophic failures occur? What are the appropriate regulatory responses? Invaluable perspective on these thorny issues is provided by the fascinating and rigorous case studies and analyses in this insight-filled volume.

Robert A. Kagan
Professor of Political Science and Law,
University of California, Berkeley

"Everybody talks about regulatory failure, but no one does much about it. This book investigates claims of regulatory breakdown in the United States and provides helpful clues as to what might be done."

Jerry Mashaw
Sterling Professor of Law, Yale Law School

"Regulatory Breakdown provides new analyses produced by some of the nation's leading experts on regulation. The book reveals elements of the U.S. regulatory system that need reform and indicates what steps should be taken now to reduce the risks of financial collapse, environmental disaster, and the untoward consequences of other catastrophic risks."

Howard Kunreuther
Professor of Decision Sciences and Business and Public Policy, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania