Legal and Regulatory Intervention

The allocation of scarce resources is generally left to decentralized market forces and autonomous citizens. But markets sometimes have serious imperfections, and humans exhibit various cognitive biases. Intervention by the state seeks to avoid or mitigate the adverse outcomes of such imperfections. Intervention can take various forms, including taxes or subsidies, agency regulation, and legal rules that seek to improve the compatibility of individual incentives with social welfare (or with citizens’ ex post evaluations of their own decisions). However, interventions in practice may fail to improve outcomes, either through inadequate design or other challenges.

This concentration focuses on an understanding of the analytical and empirical relationships between imperfect market or cognitive processes and imperfect state interventions. The concentration consists of courses from economics, law, management science and engineering, psychology and other programs dealing with industrial organization, antitrust, utility regulation, consumer protection, social psychology, contracts, administrative law and specific regulatory regimes. 

The individual courses should be cumulative or complementary with respect to the student’s interests and/or career plan, which must be stated in writing prior to approval of the elective plan, and be approved in advance by a member of the Public Policy-affiliated faculty and by the director of the program.

Students completing this concentration have employment opportunities with local, state, federal, and international organizations and regulatory agencies and with the firms dealing with such agencies, including consultancies.

The list of graduate level gateway and elective concentration courses may also be found in the Stanford Bulletin. Note that this is not an exhaustive list; students may select other courses for their concentration with the approval of their faculty advisor. 

Affiliated Faculty

Hoover Institution
Law School
Law School
Law School
Law School
Law School
Law School
Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR)
Law School
Law School
Psychology
Stanford Law School
Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
Stanford Law School
Political Science

Gateway Courses

Title
Instructor
Quarter
Day, Time, Location

Cuesta, J. (PI)
Yi, L. (TA)

2020 - 2021
Autumn

Monday Wednesday
4:00 PM
5:50 PM

O'Connell, A. (PI)

2020 - 2021
Autumn

Monday Tuesday Thursday
2:15 PM
3:35 PM

Stull, D. (TA)
Hurlbut, W. (PI)
Newsome, W. (PI)

2020 - 2021
Spring

Elective Courses

Title
Instructor
Quarter
Day, Time, Location

Owens, D. (PI)
Ching, J. (TA)
Salomon, J. (PI)

2020 - 2021
Autumn

Monday Wednesday
2:30 PM
3:50 PM

2020 - 2021
Autumn

Goulder, L. (PI)

2020 - 2021
Winter

Monday Wednesday
10:00 AM
11:50 AM

LAW 1001

van Schewick, B. (PI)

2020 - 2021
Spring

Monday Tuesday Wednesday
11:15 AM
12:35 PM

Greely, H. (PI)

2020 - 2021
Spring

Thursday
4:15 PM
6:15 PM

Sweeney, J. (PI)

2020 - 2021
Spring

Monday Wednesday
1:00 PM
2:20 PM

Pietzsch, J. (PI)
Spencer, M. (TA)

2020 - 2021
Spring

Friday
10:00 AM
11:50 AM

Goel, S. (PI)
Lin, Z. (TA)
Nyarko, J. (PI)

2020 - 2021
Spring

Tuesday
2:30 PM
5:20 PM

PSYCH 232

Knutson, B. (PI)

2020 - 2021
Spring

Tuesday
2:30 PM
5:20 PM