Loose Policies Around Close Elections Highlight the Political Limits of Macroprudential Regulation

What can policymakers do to prevent future financial crises? An emerging consensus holds that so-called macroprudential regulation is key: policies that aim to mitigate risks to the financial system as a whole. In a recent paper, Karsten Müller of Princeton shows that such policies were systematically loosened in the run-up to two-hundred seventeen elections across 58 countries. This raises the question of whether regulators can, in practice, withstand political pressures.

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The Foundation of Corporate Personhood: A Look at the Charles River Bridge Case of 1837

Some 130 years before Friedman could begin arguing that a corporation’s sole responsibility was to make a profit for its shareholders, Boston’s Charles River Bridge Company had to convince the Supreme Court that corporations were private entities whose interests could diverge from the public interest. While it lost that case, the partial success of the Charles River Bridge Company’s reasoning with the court laid the foundations for corporate personhood as it exists today.  

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Livestreaming Polluters to Enforce Environmental Policy: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Pittsburgh

Enforcing environmental regulations is controversial and can be costly. But researchers at UCLA and Carnegie Mellon have proposed a low-cost alternative for enforcement—disclosing emissions by live-streaming videos of pollution online—and here offer some preliminary evidence on how well it works.

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Rethinking Stigler’s Theory of Regulation: Regulatory Capture or Deregulatory Capture?

Much government regulation does not fit the logic of Stigler’s theory of anti-competitive regulatory capture. In a new book, Steven Vogel of Berkeley argues that the theory of regulation needs to account for the phenomenon of captured regulators bent on deregulating—and that the critical consideration facing regulators is no longer how to enhance competition, but how different governance models favor different actors.  

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