Foundations of the Regulatory State
Section 3, Spring 2005

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Last updated: Monday, 18-Apr-2005 21:12:30 EDT



Assignment for the week of April 18. 

Remember that the fourth memo assignment is due Wednesday, April 20 at 5 pm, for those of you who are completing it. I will hold regular office hours as scheduled on Tuesday the 19th and Thursday the 21st, and after that will be available by appointment.   To set up an appointment, just e-mail me. 


Assignment for the week of April 11.  

We will spend this week and next on the fourth and final unit of the course, which deals with the subject of health and welfare policy. The final volume of the coursepack is available for download from the courseweb server, and in hard copy at Printing Services. The final memo assignment will be made available on the afternoon of Monday, April 11. Please note that if you have completed all of the three previous memos, this assignment is optional, but we will be happy to give comments on your fourth memo if you are interested in extra practice and feedback.


Assignment for the week of April 4.  

This week we will complete the environmental unit of the course. There will be no regular class meetings on Thursday or Friday, but we will run TA sessions on Thursday afternoon. Please watch your e-mail for information for the fourth coursepack volume, which will be made available by midweek, and for the fourth memo assignment, which will be made available on Monday, April 11.


Assignment for the week of March 28.  

Remember that the third memo assignment is due Monday, March 28 at 5 pm. Please also note that on Thursday and Friday of this week, we will meet in our old room, JG 101, due to admitted students day. Bring your loudest voices! In addition, Friday's class will begin at 9 am, and will end at 10:15 am.


Assignment for the week of March 21.  

The week after spring break we will continue our focus on environmental policy.  There will be a Thursday afternoon TA session on th 24th; the TA's will send e-mail over the weekend describing what they plan to cover.  In addition, the third memo assignment will be made available on Monday the 21st, and will be due at the end of the day on Monday, March 28th. Feedback on the second memo assignment is now available.


Assignment for the week of March 7.   

This week we will begin the third major unit of the course, dealing with environmental policy, which will last us through the next few weeks.  Volume 3 of the coursepack will be available soon at Printing Services and is available now in PDF format online.


Assignment for the week of February 28. We will spend this week discussing various aspects of command-and-control regulation of workplace safety, including deployment of enforcement resources, the choice of the substantive standard for regulation, and the role of cost-benefit analysis. Note the special location for our Thursday class.

At 3 pm on Thursday, we will run two TA-led sessions; information about these sessions will be sent via e-mail.


Week of February 22.  As we discussed in class, we will hold a makeup class on Thursday afternoon, from 3-3:50 pm in our regular room. In addition, the second memo assignment is now available. It is due, via e-mail, by 5 pm next Friday, Feb. 25. 


Week of February 15. 

On Tuesday, February 15, we will discuss distributional issues, with a focus on how regulation of workplace safety can redistribute wealth or well-being among employers and workers.  You should read pp. 353-372, focusing on the readings by Mark Kelman and Richard Craswell.  Again, do not be concerned about mastering the details of Craswell's analysis; I will provide a handout that will help explain it. Panel 2 will be on call. 

On Thursday, February 17, we will continue our discussion of distributional issues relating to workplace safety.  You should bring a copy of the handout I distributed in Thursday's class.  Then, we will turn to a discussion of Margaret Jane Radin's essay, "Market-Inalienability," at pp. 373-386 of the coursepack.   The Radin article is difficult, especially if you are unfamiliar with the vocabulary she uses; still it is regarded by many as the best modern defense of making some rights inalienable.  Do the best you can and I will fill things in; pay particular attention to her discussion at p. 385 of what she calls the "double bind."   Here is a question to consider when reading Radin:  how would she respond to a proposal to eliminate restrictions on immigration and the minimum wage, as a way of addressing a shortage of child care faced by working parents?    Panel 3 will be on call. 

On Friday, February 18, after completing any leftover material, we will discuss legal and regulatory strategies for remedying information failures. The relevant coursepack pages are 398-428.  I expect you will find these readings rather more straightforward and easier to digest than the ones that preceded.   In class discussion, we will first briefly discuss the OCAW v. NLRB case, and then turn to a more sustained discussion of OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard.  You should have a look at the standard itself at pp. 407 et seq., and then read more carefully Baram's summary and analysis of it at p. 417. Panel 4 will be on call. 


Week of February 8.  This week we will focus on how market and contractual incentives affect conditions of workplace health and safety.  For your reference, the graphical presentations on monopoly and on supply and demand are now available online.

On Tuesday, February 8, we will discuss the materials at pp. 293-318 of the coursepack, beginning with the case of Farwell v. Boston & Worcester R.R. Corp (p. 298), which some of you have already read in your Legal Methods class.  Then we will proceed to consider how the arguments put forth in the Easterbrook's and Viscusi excerpts might apply to the substantive policy issue raised in FarwellDo not be concerned about mastering all [actually, any] of the technical details of Gordon's "Note on the Economics of Workplace Safety" at p. 309; just get what you can out of it and I will lecture on the economic arguments in class next week.  Panel 3 will be on call. 

On Thursday, February 10, we will go slightly out of order in the materials.  After completing leftover material from Tuesday, we will discuss the material on power inequalities and strategic behavior found at pp. 338-43 in the coursepack.  Then we will turn back to discuss problems of information failure, for which you should read pp. 318-38, focusing on Viscusi and on Kahneman and Tversky.   Panel 4 will be on call.

On Friday, February 11, after finishing leftover material, we will discuss distributional issues, with a focus on how regulation of workplace safety can redistribute wealth or well-being among employers and workers.  You should read pp. 353-372, focusing on the readings by Mark Kelman and Richard Craswell.  Again, do not be concerned about mastering the details of Craswell's analysis; I will provide a handout that will help explain it.


Week of February 1.  This week we will complete the introductory module of the course and begin a second module that focuses on the specific regulatory area of workplace health and safety. Please note the following administrative items:

On Tuesday, February 1, we will spend the class period discussing taxicab regulation in New York City, with the goal of using this example to assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of the public-interest and private-interest theories.  In preparation for this discussion, you should read pp. 215-236.  The Gallick/Sisk excerpt at pp. 230 is optional; it presents a somewhat complicated economic argument in favor of taxi regulation.   

Class discussion will be structured differently today: the entire class will be on call and I would like you to come to class prepared to represent the policy interests of a particular client or set of clients.  Specifically, Panel 1 will be asked to represent the interests of the yellow-cab drivers and companies;  Panel 2 will be asked to represent the interests of the livery drivers and companies; Panel 3 will be asked to represent the interests of taxi passengers and riders of public transportation; and Panel 4 will be asked to represent the city and state comptrollers (who are the executive officials with primary responsibility for oversight of government budgets) and the public generally.

On Thursday, February 3, we will begin our discussions of workplace health and safety, starting with material at pp. 237-292 of the new coursepack that presents some empirical background on the problem of workplace health and safety. [You may skip the initial Cotton Dust case -- sorry for the overlap in pagination with the first coursepack.] These readings are both lengthy and methologically diverse, and are provided in part for the purpose of later reference.  You may skim them for general background rather than specific detail, as you did with the OMB materials we considered the first week of class, but as you read, you should consider two questions:  (1) of the materials provided, which do you find most useful, enlightening, or persuasive; and (2) do the materials raise any important questions that they do not answer?  Panel 1 will be on call.

On Friday, February 4, we will discuss how problematic experiences such as workplace injuries come to be perceived as social and legal problems, as opposed to merely unfortunate events that must be tolerated as part of the vicissitudes of life.  You should skip ahead in the coursepack and read pp. 385-95, focusing on the "Naming, Blaming, Claiming" excerpt by Felstiner, Abel and Sarat.  This piece is not especially conceptually difficult, but it is quite abstract; so as you read it you should ask yourself at each step in the exposition how the ideas might play out in the context of workplace safety.  The short Kingdon excerpt at p. 393 approaches some of the ideas in Felstiner et al. from a political science perspective; it is also written in a more accessible style and I think you will find it helpful. 

Here is a question to consider when reading Felstiner et al:  how would the concepts of naming, blaming and claiming apply to the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace?   (Consider in particular the example of a woman who is asked by her male supervisor for a date.) 
Panel 2 will be on call. 


Week of January 25.  This week we will complete our discussion of normative concepts and will turn to a comparison of alternate theories of the regulatory state. Please also note the following administrative items:

On Tuesday, January 25, we will discuss the materials on community at pp. 110–144 of the coursepack, as originally scheduled for Friday the 21st. [Note that the pagination in the table of contents is off by a few pages; I'm not sure what happened.] In response to a few students' requests, here are the news articles I had planned to hand out last week on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, though you should treat them as strictly optional reading. Panel 4 will be on call.

In the later part of the class period, I will lecture on the subject of market failure, elaborating on the concepts in the excerpt from then-professor Stephen Breyer's book, Regulation and Its Reform, at pp. 145-160 in the coursepack. Anyone who wants a fuller account of the underlying economic concepts — or a refresher — should consult the David Friedman book at pp. 227-44 and 260-78.]  

On Thursday, January 27, we will continue with the materials on public-interest theories of the regulatory state. If you did not read the Breyer reading for Tuesday's class, you should read it now, along with the Zerbe/McCurdy excerpt at pp. 170-176. The excerpt from Richard Posner's article at pp. 160-170 can be a secondary priority, although it is still very much worth reading for its insightful discussion of the ways in which regulation can be used to promote distributional goals. This class will consist primarily of lecture material, so no panel is on call. Students who feel thoroughly conversant with the economics of market failure may wish to treat this class as optional.

On Friday, January 28, we will meet from 9:00-10:15 am, and will discuss private-interest theories of regulation.  These theories analyze regulation not in terms of how it can be used to serve the public interest, but in terms of how it responds to the private interests of participants in the political process.   The relevant coursepack pages are 177214, but not all are required; in particular, the Stigler and Falletta excerpts are optional. The main contribution of the Stigler excerpt is to present an economist's perpective on the political process, in contrast to the more political-science-oriented approach of the required readings.  The Falletta excerpt presents an interesting and perhaps important theoretical argument against the rationality of the political process.  Finally, for anyone reading Friedman's Hidden Order as a supplement, the relevant pages in that book are 289-97.  No panel will be on call, though I am expecting that the Kelman excerpt in particular will generate some discussion.


Week of January 18.  This week we will continue and complete our discusssion of the normative arguments that are most frequently used in regulatory policy. Please also note the following administrative items:

On Tuesday, January 18, after finishing our discussion of the Krugman and Naiman articles on international trade policy, we will turn to the coursepack readings dealing with distributional justice [pp. 52–81].  These readings discuss a variety of normative arguments regarding fair distribution, and in class we will focus on exploring the commonalities and distinctions among these arguments. We will then apply these various concepts to Ackerman and Alstott's proposal [discussed in Sunstein's review of their book, The Stakeholder Society] that every law-abiding American citizen be provided at age 18 with a grant of $80,000. In preparation for discussion, consider the study questions at pp. 72-73 and 80-81. Panel 1 will be on call.

On Thursday, January 20, after finishing leftover material, we will discuss the coursepack readings dealing with the value of liberty [pp. 81-110]. In our discussion , we will first focus on the excerpt from Nozick's Anarchy, State and Utopia at pp. 83-95. When reading Nozick, pay particular attention to his distinction between historical and end-result principles of justice [p. 86] as well as his Wilt Chamberlain hypothetical [p. 89 et seq.]  We will then apply his ideas [and those of Milton Friedman] to the Ackerman/Alstott proposal, as well as to the issues raised by mandatory motorcycle-helmet laws. Panel 2 will be on call.

On Friday, January 21, after finishing leftover material, we will turn to the readings dealing with the value of community. [pp. 110–145.]  In our discussion, we will consider the potential conflicts and connections between communitarian and liberal principles, both generally, and in the context of education policy.  In order to help focus our discussion on specifics, next week I will provide you with links to some recent news articles describing some of the policy debates that arose last year in the context of the reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which was passed by Congress in December 2001 and signed into law by President George W. Bush on January 8, 2002. Panel 3 will be on call.



Panel assignments.  As promised, I have randomly assigned you to discussion panels. Please be prepared to discuss the assigned readings in detail the day your panel is on call. You are welcome to trade dates with a classmate, but your substitute must notify me of the trade before class. The assignments are as follows:

Panel 1

On call T 1/18, T 2/01

Panel 2

On call Th 1/20, T 2/01

Panel 3

On call F 1/21, T 2/01

Panel 4

On call T 1/25, T 2/01

Acosta, Damaris
Barbur, Ryan
Bell, Jennifer
Cataldo, Anthony
Choe, Samantha
Coronel, Jonathan
Daniel, Sargon
DeMaso, Christine
Emerson, Anya
Fitzgerald, Kerry
Frost, Claire
Geffner, Eric
Greeley, Patrick
Hackett, Brennan
James, Benjamin
Katz, Elliot
Kramvis, Evangelos
Levy, Vincent
Min, Eric
O'Brien, Robert
Ortega, Cuauhtemoc
Pitluck, David
Prussell, Georgia
Robinson, Lisa
Sanchez, Michael
Selden, Philip
Shah, Naureen
Stillman, Jodi
Westerfield, Jennifer
Wu, Li

Aaker, Joseph
Aragon, Raquel
Ashiru, Oladipo
Canavan, Jason
Choe, Shiwon
Cohen, Andrew
Feigenbaum, Aaron
Fleming, Megan
Gottesman, Stacey
Grossman, Michael
Hildebrand, Martha
Johnson, Gabrielle
Kvasnosky, Noelle
Lachman, David
Leal, Sergio
May, Robert
Meriggi, Jeffrey
Orraca-tetteh, Dede
Oza, Rachana
Persyn, Mary, Kelly
Pinegar, Aaron
Pringle, Aimee
Rashid, Suhaib
Sevald, Alexander
Somers, Patrick
Tao, Zhen
Taylor, Jonathan
Traube, Michael
Whiting, Corey
Wilson, Leanne

Allen, Tifarah
Bermann, Suzanne
Blackman, Jay
Campfield, Shaun
Goursaud, Sylvie
Harper, Samantha
Hendrix, Meredith
Howell, Scott
Hughes, Derrick
Jamison, Brandon
Kelley, Christopher
Kim, JungAh
Komarek, Daniel
Lai, Matthew
Lardy, Lillian
Law, Jonathan
Lindee, Kirsten
Meyers, Emily
Napolitan, Nicholas
Parise, Emily
Perkins, Nicholas
Raymond, Tashia
Slack, Devin
Solinsky, Jessica
Thompson, Addison
Wang, Jennifer
Weiss, David
Whetsell, Benjamin
Zaid, Zaid
Zhou, Qianwei

Allyn, Ashley
Altman, Nicole
Beatty, Piper
Bleiberg, Steven
Carreiro, Daron
Dewsbury, Ian
Gant, Jonathan
Goettig, Michael
Goggins, Bari
Gungoll, Wade
Kopczynski, Philip
LaFarge, Erin
Lin, Barbara
Lowtan, Donavan
Martinez, Joey
Mateus, John
McAnaney, Benjamin
Moore, Cason
Nahar-Brown, Zahra
Nurmohamed, Lateef
Ono, Suehiko
Osner, Miriam
Plumb, Michael
Rabe, Drew
Ramirez, Stefanie
Reeder, Kathleen
Roberts, Michael
Rubenson, Rachel
Song, Albert
Walgenbach, Emilie
Yoon, Jaewon

 



Assignment for the first day of class.   The assigned readings consist of a set of coursepacks, the first volume of which will be made available at Printing Services on the ground floor of the SIPA building.   An electronic version of these materials is also available for registered students only.   Please bring your coursepack materials with you when you come to class.

For our first class meeting on Tuesday, January 11, please pick up the first section of the coursepack and read the materials listed under section I ("The Problems to be Considered.")  The material in the OMB report to Congress is quite lengthy and you should feel free to skim it lightly; we will return to it later on in more detail. Do have a look at the tables, however.

The assigned readings for the remainder of the first week of class are as follows: 

Registered students: please fill out the online information form before the end of the week.