Deregulation and its Discontents

Deregulation and its Discontents

Rewriting the Rules in Asia

Edited by M. Ramesh and Michael Howlett

Deregulation and its Discontents examines the different ways in which the issues related to deregulation and reregulation have been addressed in Asia. The role of government in business has gone through distinct, if overlapping, cycles: regulation, deregulation and reregulation. However, little is known about deregulation and even less about reregulation, particularly in relation to Asia. The contributors to this book examine the links between the cycles through detvailed analyses of the electricity market, pensions and stock markets in the Asia Pacific. They also offer an explanation of regulatory cycles.

Chapter 1: Preface: The Evolution of De/Reregulation

Michael Howlett and M. Ramesh

Subjects: asian studies, asian economics, asian politics and policy, economics and finance, asian economics, public sector economics, politics and public policy, asian politics, social policy and sociology, economics of social policy


Michael Howlett and M. Ramesh The evolution of regulation as a key policy instrument in the toolbox of modern government is a well known story. From the development of the principle of delegated legislation in the early years of the evolution of the modern state (Gilardi 2002; Page 2001; Thatcher and Stone Sweet 2003) to the first creation of specialized quasi-judicial independent regulatory commissions in the United States after the civil war (Huntington 1952; Eisner 1994a and 1994b), the gradual development of bureaucratic expertise and capacity in the social and economic realms has been oft-told and is a defining characteristic of the predominant policy style found in modern governments (Howlett and Ramesh 2002; Howlett 2004). Debate about the merits of this development continues in many areas, for example, whether or not regulations are in the public or private interest (Stigler 1975; Posner 1974) and whether or not they contribute to economic efficiency by correcting market failures or instead create new government failures (Le Grand 1991; Wolf 1979, 1987; Zerbe and McCurdy 1999). The discussion has generated a plethora of studies about the merits of particular types of regulation over others (Ringquist et al. 2003; Williams 2000), and the difficulties of legislative and judicial oversight of regulatory activities (McCubbins and Lupia 1994; McCubbins and Schwartz 1984; Angus 1974; de Smith 1973), among many other topics. Much less known is the reversal of regulations – deregulation – and even less about its twin: reregulation. Studies are very limited with respect to clarifying the general...

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