Libertarians intuitively understand the case for patents: just as other property rights internalize the social benefits of improvements to land, automobile maintenance, or business investment, patents incentivize the creation of new inventions, which might otherwise be undersupplied.
This article explains what cryptocurrency is and begins to answer the new questions that it raises. To understand why cryptocurrency has the characteristics it has, it is important to understand the problem that is being solved. For this reason, we start with the problems that have plagued digital cash in the past and the technical advance that makes cryptocurrency possible. Once this foundation is laid, we discuss the unique economic questions that the solution raises.
The papers in our series tell an important story about how federal regulators—whether by design or by effect—circumvent both the APA and OIRA oversight. Regulators thus can achieve their ends without adhering to the standard regulatory procedures that represent part of the checks and balances of American government. These procedures have been designed to ensure that technical expertise drives regulatory decisionmaking, as well as to ensure a certain degree of democratic accountability of regulators to the public.
Income inequality is often attributed to declines in income mobility following the Great Gatsby curve, but this relationship is of secondary importance in determining the factors of income mobility if one considers that changing rules is more important than changing outcomes under defined rules.
Privacy law today faces two interrelated problems. The first is an information control problem. Like so many other fields of modern cyberlaw — intellectual property, online safety, cybersecurity, etc. — privacy law is being challenged by intractable Information Age realities. Specifically, it is easier than ever before for information to circulate freely and harder than ever to bottle it up once it is released. …
This article looks at the wisdom of proposed reforms to reign in nonlegislative rulemaking, which allow regulatory agencies to make policy without the procedural protections associated with legislative rules. Agencies are likely to react to a restriction on one type of policymaking activity to move to even more difficult-to-monitor methods of setting policy that escape oversight. Imposing regulatory procedures is as likely to result in a game of “Whac-a-Mole,” with agencies changing policy instruments to avoid oversight, as it is to improve oversight.
This paper illustrates four types of regulatory and quasi-regulatory activities that are operating outside Office of Management and Budget and benefit-cost review: (1) agency issuance of quasi-regulatory documents such as memoranda, policy statements, and guidance documents; (2) agency approval of state regulatory policies under federal laws that authorize selective waiver of federal preemption of state regulation; (3) federal agency issuance of hazard determinations related to technologies, substances, and practices that impact the litigation and regulatory environment; and (4) federal agency decisions to enter into binding agreements with pro-litigants favoring certain regulatory outcomes, where settlements create nondiscretionary agency duties to initiate new rulemakings.
In this article, the authors summarize the system of presidential regulatory oversight through OIRA review, as well as analyze the incentives for agencies to cooperate with or avoid OIRA. The authors identify a broad array of agency avoidance tactics, as well as corresponding response options available to OIRA, the President, Congress, and the courts.
Scholars and practitioners have documented how regulatory agencies have increasingly relied on guidance, best-practice documents, policy statements, and other informal pronouncements to achieve regulatory ends. Agencies often do so to avoid executive regulatory review and other accountability measures that ostensibly slow the regulatory process. This paper adds to this growing literature to incorporate policymaking through the issuance of completely unenforceable threats.
In recent years, environmental advocacy groups have increasingly succeeded in using a faux litigation strategy to effectively trample the statutory regulatory framework and to shut out the states from important policy decisions. This policy-making process— called “sue-and-settle” or “suit-and-settlement”—not only violates the statutory framework, but also leads to haphazard policy making that should violate the standards of any serious policy analyst.
This program will: provide an introduction to net neutrality and briefly explain the history of the debate, lay out the arguments for and against net neutrality, and discuss mechanisms to ensure the Internet remains a vibrantly free conduit and tool for ideas, innovation and economic growth.
To reflect on the significance of Hayek’s Nobel Prize and the various strands of influence his work has had in subsequent decades of scholarship, please join us for a keynote speech and panel discussion by some of Hayek’s most prominent colleagues and interlocutors.