Economic Effects of Government-Mandated Costs

Economic Effects of Government-Mandated Costs

Economic Effects of Government-Mandated Costs

Economic Effects of Government-Mandated Costs

Excerpt

Over the past decade, the character and scope of government regulation of business has become a matter of increasing concern among economists. There have been repeated calls for reform and selective deregulation of the sector that has been traditionally directly regulated (for example, airlines). Strangely, at the same time, there has been an acceleration and intensification of governmental controls over the private and traditionally nonregulated sector through governmental "mandates" covering a wide spectrum of U.S. production. They include numerous statutes ranging from warnings about the hazards of cigarette smoking (Public Health Smoking Act, 1970), standards for "child-resistant" packaging (Poison Prevention Packaging Act, 1970), and safety standards for consumer products (Consumer Product Safety Act, 1972) to safety standards and equipment for motor vehicles (Traffic Safety Act, 1966), air and water quality standards (Clean Air Act, 1969-70, and Federal Water Pollution Control Act, 1972), safety and health standards (Occupational Safety and Health Act, 1970), and many more.

Professor Murray Weidenbaum has examined the pervasiveness of these statutory actions in his recent study Government-Mandated Price Increases (American Enterprise Institute, 1975). His study suggested the need for further analysis of the micro- and macroeconomic effects of government-imposed standards. This, then, was the basic reason for the seminar, which consisted of a series of invited papers and discussions based on the prepared papers. The participants included university economists, economists and other . . .

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