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Industry Influence in Federal Regulatory Agencies

Industry Influence in Federal Regulatory Agencies

Paul J. Quirk
Copyright Date: 1981
Pages: 272
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  • Book Info
    Industry Influence in Federal Regulatory Agencies
    Book Description:

    Federal regulatory agencies are often assumed to be excessively responsive to and influenced by the corporate interests they are supposed to regulate. On the basis of direct empirical examination, Paul Quirk challenges this assumption as it relates to four United States federal regulatory agencies. Through a series of interviews with high-level officials of the Federal Trade Commission, the Civil Aeronautics Board, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, he determines whether and what kinds of incentives exist to adopt policies favorable to industry.

    Originally published in 1981.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5431-8
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. viii-viii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-2)
  5. Chapter I Introduction: The Problem of Industry Influence
    (pp. 3-21)

    The policies and behavior of federal regulatory agencies are of critical significance to the economy. To varying degrees, regulation controls: the prices and price structures for energy, communications, loans, agricultural products, and transportation; the safety and healthfulness of food, medicines, automobiles, airplanes, and consumer products generally—as well as of the workplace; the fairness and honesty of advertising and commercial practices; the structures of economic markets; and the quality of the environment—just to mention some prominent examples. Despite recent substantial deregulation of certain industries, principally where regulation served to protect producers from competition, the pervasive significance of regulation seems...

  6. Chapter II Research Strategy: A Study of Policy Incentives
    (pp. 22-42)

    Because of the nearly total absence of systematic research attempting to determine which, if any, of the claimed causes of industry protection really operate, the student of the problem is faced with a relatively unconstrained choice of where to begin. None of the significant questions has been answered. This chapter will indicate the choices I have made regarding the aspects of the problem to address and the methods of approaching them. Because the approach taken is somewhat novel, more than the usual attention will be given to explaining its rationale, comparing it with more conventional research strategies, and considering the...

  7. Chapter III Policy Attitudes as Incentives: The Effects of Regulatory Appointments
    (pp. 43-95)

    This chapter examines the effects of the selection of high-level regulatory personnel on agency policy incentives. The major claim to be evaluated is that persons selected to become high regulatory officials tend to hold policy attitudes favorable to the interests of regulated industries.¹ At the same time, we shall be alert to the possibility of obtaining contrary findings. Regulatory recruits may hold attitudes unfavorable to industry, moderate attitudes, or no attitudes relevant to their regulatory responsibilities at all. Stated another way, the chapter will examine the degree and direction in which the recruitment of regulatory officials is selective with respect...

  8. Chapter IV The Budgetary Incentive
    (pp. 96-142)

    Government agencies are not autonomous. They require political support—perhaps most critically, support for their budgets. Insofar as other constraints permit, they act to increase this support and to decrease opposition. Such considerations are basic to the conditions of bureaucratic existence. The present chapter examines their significance for the policy incentives of regulatory agencies.

    The chapter addresses a potentially important but vaguely stated line of analysis in the regulatory literature as specified and operationalized (and considerably narrowed) by the present author. Bernstein¹ and Noll,² among others, have explained industry-protective regulatory administration as resulting from two elements of the regulatory agency’s...

  9. Chapter V Industry Jobs and the Career Incentive
    (pp. 143-174)

    In explaining apparent instances of industry influence on agency decisions, critics of regulatory administration often point to the common practice in which high regulatory officials, upon leaving their agencies, are hired by the very industries they had been regulating.¹ Such hiring has been given the colorful, if prejudicial, label “the delayed bribe.” And reformers have sought to abolish it (or at least delay it even further) by banning high regulatory officials from accepting employment in these industries for two years or more after their departure from government.²

    The occurrence of this pattern of employment has been reasonably well documented, though...

  10. Chapter VI Conclusions and Implications
    (pp. 175-193)

    The primary purpose of this study has been to assess certain hypotheses concerning pro-industry policy incentives allegedly facing regulatory agencies and—more generally—to determine the presence and direction of the incentives at issue with respect to conflicts between regulated industry and more general interests. It has also had two secondary purposes: to develop evidence bearing on the usefulness of various measures of reducing pro-industry bias where it exists in regulatory administration, and preventing it where it does not; and to experiment with an approach to the study of political decision making that may broadly be described as the direct...

  11. Appendix A List of Officials Interviewed
    (pp. 194-196)
  12. Appendix B The Interview Schedule
    (pp. 197-199)
  13. Appendix C Comment on Coding
    (pp. 200-206)
  14. Notes
    (pp. 207-240)
  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 241-254)
  16. Index
    (pp. 255-260)