Understanding Regulation: Theory, Strategy, and Practice

By Robert Baldwin; Martin Cave | Go to book overview

4
Regulatory Strategies
If the state wants to control, say, the pollution of a river it may use a number of strategies. The dumping of noxious substances may be made unlawful or, alternatively, the state may give rewards (e.g. tax deductions) to those existing polluters who reduce the levels of their discharges. Looking to other strategies, manufacturers might be compelled to tell the public how much pollution is caused in making each product or rights might be allocated so as to allow the victims of pollution to recover damages from polluters.Choosing the right strategy for regulating matters. A regulatory system will be difficult to justify--no matter how well it seems to be performing--if critics can argue that a different strategy would more effectively achieve relevant objectives. How, though, can we map out the array of different regulatory techniques? A starting point is to consider the basic capacities or resources that governments possess and which can be used to influence industrial, economic, or social activity. These have been described as follows:1
To command--where legal authority and the command of law is used to pursue policy objectives.
To deploy wealth--where contracts, grants, loans, subsidies, or other incentives are used to influence conduct.
To harness markets--where governments channel competitive forces to particular ends (for example by using franchise auctions to achieve benefits for consumers).
To inform--where information is deployed strategically (e.g. so as to empower consumers).
To act directly--where the state takes physical action itself (e.g. to contain a hazard or nuisance).
To confer protected rights--where rights and liability rules are structured and allocated so as to create desired incentives and constraints (e.g. rights to clean water are created in order to deter polluters).
____________________
1
See C. C. Hood, The Tools of Government ( London, 1983), 5; T. C. Daintith, "'The Techniques of Government'", in J. Jowell and D. Oliver (eds.), The Changing Constitution ( 3rd edn., Oxford, 1994).

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Understanding Regulation: Theory, Strategy, and Practice
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements v
  • Contents vii
  • Figures ix
  • Tables x
  • Abbreviations xi
  • I- Introduction 1
  • 1- FUNDAMENTALS 7
  • 2: Why Regulate? 9
  • 3: Explaining Regulation 18
  • 4: Regulatory Strategies 34
  • 5: Who Regulates? Institutions and Structures 63
  • 6- What is 'Good' Regulation? 76
  • 7- The Cost-Benefit Testing Of Regulation 86
  • 8: Enforcing Regulation 96
  • 9: Setting Standards 118
  • 10: Self-Regulation 125
  • 11: Regulating Risks 138
  • 12: Regulation in the European Context 150
  • 13: Regulatory Competition and Coordination 180
  • 14: British Utilities Regulation 190
  • II- PARTICULAR CONCERNS 201
  • 15: Price Setting in Natural Monopolies 203
  • 16- Regulation Versus Competition 210
  • 17- Price-Capping Mechanisms 224
  • 18- Measuring Efficiency: Benchmarking, Yardsticking, and Performance 239
  • 19: Regulating Quality 248
  • 20: Franchising and its Limitations 257
  • 21: Accountability 286
  • 22: Procedures and Fairness 314
  • 23- Conclusions 334
  • Bibliography 337
  • Index 359
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