Effective government regulations can improve citizens’ health, safety, and financial well-being and reduce market imperfections. On the other hand, regulations that are poorly designed or implemented can impair markets, impose burdens, and impede innovation. There are potential benefits from regulatory interventions that mitigate imperfections but also potential costs from necessarily imperfect regulation. The challenge is to find an appropriate balance.
This grant provides support for an initiative at the Brookings Institution to found a new, evidence-based, non-ideological Center on Regulation and Markets. In recent years, the trend has been for academics interested in regulation to specialize in environmental, health, labor, or other specific regulatory contexts. While this approach has many merits, such specialization deprives the field of the insights and wisdom that come from the wider study of regulation as such. The new Brookings Center will aim to recapture those insights and revitalize regulatory economics by incorporating recent behavioral, technological, societal, and legal perspectives.
The new Center will initially concentrate on three work streams: Regulatory Processes and Perspectives, Market and Government Failures, and the Regulation of Financial Markets. Specific topics range from autonomous vehicles and the sharing economy to bankruptcy law and cost/benefit estimation methods. Outputs will include peer-reviewed papers, policy briefs, roundtables, and conferences.