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.
Note that the courses below are not an exhaustive list; students may select other courses for their concentration with the approval of their faculty advisor.
Hurlbut, W. (PI)
Newsome, W. (PI)
Goldhaber-Fiebert, J. (PI)
Salomon, J. (PI)
MaCurdy, T. (PI)
Srirangarajan, T. (TA)
Crane, D. (PI)