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Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Regulation

Public Law and Legal Theory

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The Irony Of Health Care’S Public Option, Allison K. Hoffman Jan 2021

The Irony Of Health Care’S Public Option, Allison K. Hoffman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The idea of a public health insurance option is at least a half century old, but has not yet had its day in the limelight. This chapter explains why if that moment ever comes, health care’s public option will fall short of expectations that it will provide a differentiated, meaningful alternative to private health insurance and will spur health insurance competition.

Health care’s public option bubbled up in its best-known form in California in the early 2000s and got increasing mainstream attention in the lead up to the 2010 health reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ...


Administrative Law In The Automated State, Cary Coglianese Jan 2021

Administrative Law In The Automated State, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In the future, administrative agencies will rely increasingly on digital automation powered by machine learning algorithms. Can U.S. administrative law accommodate such a future? Not only might a highly automated state readily meet longstanding administrative law principles, but the responsible use of machine learning algorithms might perform even better than the status quo in terms of fulfilling administrative law’s core values of expert decision-making and democratic accountability. Algorithmic governance clearly promises more accurate, data-driven decisions. Moreover, due to their mathematical properties, algorithms might well prove to be more faithful agents of democratic institutions. Yet even if an automated ...


Deploying Machine Learning For A Sustainable Future, Cary Coglianese May 2020

Deploying Machine Learning For A Sustainable Future, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

To meet the environmental challenges of a warming planet and an increasingly complex, high tech economy, government must become smarter about how it makes policies and deploys its limited resources. It specifically needs to build a robust capacity to analyze large volumes of environmental and economic data by using machine-learning algorithms to improve regulatory oversight, monitoring, and decision-making. Three challenges can be expected to drive the need for algorithmic environmental governance: more problems, less funding, and growing public demands. This paper explains why algorithmic governance will prove pivotal in meeting these challenges, but it also presents four likely obstacles that ...


Occupational Licensing And The Limits Of Public Choice Theory, Gabriel Scheffler, Ryan Nunn Apr 2019

Occupational Licensing And The Limits Of Public Choice Theory, Gabriel Scheffler, Ryan Nunn

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Public choice theory has long been the dominant lens through which economists and other scholars have viewed occupational licensing. According to the public choice account, practitioners favor licensing because they want to reduce competition and drive up their own wages. This essay argues that the public choice account has been overstated, and that it ironically has served to distract from some of the most important harms of licensing, as well as from potential solutions. We emphasize three specific drawbacks of this account. First, it is more dismissive of legitimate threats to public health and safety than the research warrants. Second ...


Transparency And Algorithmic Governance, Cary Coglianese, David Lehr Jan 2019

Transparency And Algorithmic Governance, Cary Coglianese, David Lehr

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Machine-learning algorithms are improving and automating important functions in medicine, transportation, and business. Government officials have also started to take notice of the accuracy and speed that such algorithms provide, increasingly relying on them to aid with consequential public-sector functions, including tax administration, regulatory oversight, and benefits administration. Despite machine-learning algorithms’ superior predictive power over conventional analytic tools, algorithmic forecasts are difficult to understand and explain. Machine learning’s “black-box” nature has thus raised concern: Can algorithmic governance be squared with legal principles of governmental transparency? We analyze this question and conclude that machine-learning algorithms’ relative inscrutability does not pose ...


Could Official Climate Denial Revive The Common Law As A Regulatory Backstop?, Mark P. Nevitt, Robert Percival Jan 2018

Could Official Climate Denial Revive The Common Law As A Regulatory Backstop?, Mark P. Nevitt, Robert Percival

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Trump Administration is rapidly turning the clock back on climate policy and environmental regulation. Despite overwhelming, peer-reviewed scientific evidence, administration officials eager to promote greater use of fossil fuels are disregarding climate science. This Article argues that this massive and historic deregulation may spawn yet another wave of legal innovation as litigants, including states and their political subdivisions, return to the common law to protect the health of the planet. Prior to the emergence of the major federal environmental laws in the 1970s, the common law of nuisance gave rise to the earliest environmental decisions in U.S. history ...


What Congress's Repeal Efforts Can Teach Us About Regulatory Reform, Cary Coglianese, Gabriel Scheffler Dec 2017

What Congress's Repeal Efforts Can Teach Us About Regulatory Reform, Cary Coglianese, Gabriel Scheffler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Major legislative actions during the early part of the 115th Congress have undermined the central argument for regulatory reform measures such as the REINS Act, a bill that would require congressional approval of all new major regulations. Proponents of the REINS Act argue that it would make the federal regulatory system more democratic by shifting responsibility for regulatory decisions away from unelected bureaucrats and toward the people’s representatives in Congress. But separate legislative actions in the opening of the 115th Congress only call this argument into question. Congress’s most significant initiatives during this period — its derailed attempts to ...


Rationing Criminal Justice, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas Jan 2017

Rationing Criminal Justice, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Of the many diagnoses of American criminal justice’s ills, few focus on externalities. Yet American criminal justice systematically overpunishes in large part because few mechanisms exist to force consideration of the full social costs of criminal justice interventions. Actors often lack good information or incentives to minimize the harms they impose. Part of the problem is structural: criminal justice is fragmented vertically among governments, horizontally among agencies, and individually among self-interested actors. Part is a matter of focus: doctrinally and pragmatically, actors overwhelmingly view each case as an isolated, short-term transaction to the exclusion of broader, long-term, and aggregate ...


Chevron's Interstitial Steps, Cary Coglianese Jan 2017

Chevron's Interstitial Steps, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Chevron doctrine’s apparent simplicity has long captivated judges, lawyers, and scholars. According to the standard formulation, Chevron involves just two straightforward steps: (1) Is a statute clear? (2) If not, is the agency’s interpretation of the statute reasonable? Despite the influence of this two-step framework, Chevron has come under fire in recent years. Some critics bemoan what they perceive as the Supreme Court’s incoherent application of the Chevron framework over time. Others argue that Chevron’s second step, which calls for courts to defer to reasonable agency interpretations of ambiguous statutory provisions, amounts to an abdication ...


From The History To The Theory Of Administrative Constitutionalism, Sophia Z. Lee Jan 2017

From The History To The Theory Of Administrative Constitutionalism, Sophia Z. Lee

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Legal scholars and historians have shown growing interest in how agencies interpret and implement the Constitution, what is called “administrative constitutionalism.” The points of contact between the history and theory of administrative constitutionalism are sufficiently extensive to merit systematic analysis. This chapter focuses on what history can offer the theory of administrative constitutionalism. It argues that historical accounts of administrative constitutionalism invite a more robust normative defense of the practice than theorists have thus far provided. There is much to the transparent, participatory versions of administrative constitutionalism that its defenders have primarily focused on thus far. This chapter is a ...


Administrative Law: The U.S. And Beyond, Cary Coglianese Jul 2016

Administrative Law: The U.S. And Beyond, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Administrative law constrains and directs the behavior of officials in the many governmental bodies responsible for implementing legislation and handling governance responsibilities on a daily basis. This field of law consists of procedures for decision making by these administrative bodies, including rules about transparency and public participation. It also encompasses oversight practices provided by legislatures, courts, and elected executives. The way that administrative law affects the behavior of government officials holds important implications for the fulfillment of democratic principles as well as effective governance in society. This paper highlights salient political theory and legal issues fundamental to the U.S ...


Agenda-Setting In The Regulatory State: Theory And Evidence, Cary Coglianese, Daniel E. Walters Jan 2016

Agenda-Setting In The Regulatory State: Theory And Evidence, Cary Coglianese, Daniel E. Walters

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Government officials who run administrative agencies must make countless decisions every day about what issues and work to prioritize. These agenda-setting decisions hold enormous implications for the shape of law and public policy, but they have received remarkably little attention by either administrative law scholars or social scientists who study the bureaucracy. Existing research offers few insights about the institutions, norms, and inputs that shape and constrain agency discretion over their agendas or about the strategies that officials employ in choosing to elevate certain issues while putting others on the back burner. In this article, we advance the study of ...


Introduction To The Workplace Constitution From The New Deal To The New Right, Sophia Z. Lee Jan 2014

Introduction To The Workplace Constitution From The New Deal To The New Right, Sophia Z. Lee

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Today, most American workers do not have constitutional rights on the job. As The Workplace Constitution shows, this outcome was far from inevitable. Instead, American workers have a long history of fighting for such rights. Beginning in the 1930s, civil rights advocates sought constitutional protections against racial discrimination by employers and unions. At the same time, a conservative right-to-work movement argued that the Constitution protected workers from having to join or support unions. Those two movements, with their shared aim of extending constitutional protections to American workers, were a potentially powerful combination. But they sought to use those protections to ...


Private Enforcement Of Statutory And Administrative Law In The United States (And Other Common Law Countries), Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang, Herbert M. Kritzer Jan 2014

Private Enforcement Of Statutory And Administrative Law In The United States (And Other Common Law Countries), Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang, Herbert M. Kritzer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Our aim in this paper, which was prepared for an international conference on comparative procedural law to be held in July 2011, is to advance understanding of private enforcement of statutory and administrative law in the United States, and, to the extent supported by the information that colleagues abroad have provided, of comparable phenomena in other common law countries. Seeking to raise questions that will be useful to those who are concerned with regulatory design, we briefly discuss aspects of American culture, history, and political institutions that reasonably can be thought to have contributed to the growth and subsequent development ...


Private Enforcement, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang, Herbert Kritzer Oct 2013

Private Enforcement, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang, Herbert Kritzer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Our aim in this Article is to advance understanding of private enforcement of statutory and administrative law in the United States and to raise questions that will be useful to those who are concerned with regulatory design in other countries. To that end, we briefly discuss aspects of American culture, history, and political institutions that reasonably can be thought to have contributed to the growth and subsequent development of private enforcement. We also set forth key elements of the general legal landscape in which decisions about private enforcement are made, aspects of which should be central to the choice of ...


Ip And Antitrust: Reformation And Harm, Christina Bohannan, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2010

Ip And Antitrust: Reformation And Harm, Christina Bohannan, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust and intellectual property law both seek to improve economic welfare by facilitating competition and investment in innovation. At various times both antitrust and IP law have wandered off this course and have become more driven by special interests. Today, antitrust and IP are on very different roads to reform. Antitrust reform began in the late 1970s with a series of Supreme Court decisions that linked the plaintiff’s harm and right to obtain a remedy to the competition - furthering goals of antitrust policy. Today, patent law has begun its own reform journey, but it is in a much earlier ...


Patents, Property, And Competition Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2009

Patents, Property, And Competition Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The decision to regulate involves the identification of markets where simple assignment of property rights is not sufficient to ensure satisfactory competitive results, usually because some type of market failure obtains. By contrast, if property rights are well defined when they are initially created and can subsequently be traded to some reasonably competitive equilibrium, then regulation is thought not to be necessary. In such cases the antitrust laws have a significant role to play in ensuring that the market can be as competitive as free trading allows. One problem with the patent system is that once a patent is granted ...


Much Ado About Nothing?, Cary Coglianese Jan 2008

Much Ado About Nothing?, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Policy scholars and decision makers should be careful before concluding that President Bush's recent Executive Order 13422 will result in "paralysis by analysis." That lament has been heard about other changes to rule making procedures over the last seven decades, yet steady increases in the cost and volume of federal regulations during that time period clearly indicate that paralysis has yet to set in. Administrative procedures are embedded within a complex web of politics, institutions, and organizational behavior. Within that web, procedures are but one factor influencing government agencies.


Weak Democracy, Strong Information: The Role Of Information Technology In The Rulemaking Process, Cary Coglianese Feb 2007

Weak Democracy, Strong Information: The Role Of Information Technology In The Rulemaking Process, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Techno-optimists advocate the application of information technology to the rulemaking process as a means of advancing strong democracy -- that is, direct, broad-based citizen involvement in regulatory policy making. In this paper, I show that such optimism is unfounded given the obstacles to meaningful citizen deliberation posed by the impenetrability of current e-rulemaking developments, the prevailing level of citizen disengagement from politics and policy making more generally, and most citizens’ lack of the requisite technical information about and understanding of the issues at stake in regulatory decision making. As such, a more realistic goal for the application of new technology to ...


The Internet And Citizen Participation In Rulemaking, Cary Coglianese Jan 2005

The Internet And Citizen Participation In Rulemaking, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Each year, regulatory agencies promulgate thousands of important rules through a process largely insulated from ordinary citizens. Many observers believe the Internet could help revolutionize the rulemaking process, allowing citizens to play a central role in the development of new government regulations. This paper expresses a contrary view. In it, I argue that existing efforts to apply information technology to rulemaking will not noticeably affect citizen participation, as these current efforts do little more than digitize the existing process without addressing the underlying obstacles to greater citizen participation. Although more innovative technologies may eventually enable the ordinary citizen to play ...