The Half-Life of Policy Rationales: How New Technology Affects Old Policy Issues

Book Forum
March 27, 2003
11:00AM to 12:30PM
Auditorium/Wintergarden
Featuring the coeditor, Daniel B. Klein; with comments by Jerry Ellig, Acting Director, Office of Policy Planning Federal Trade Commission; Donald Boudreaux, Chairman, Department of Economics, George Mason University; and Robert Atkinson, Director of the Technology and New Economy Project, Progressive Policy Institute.
Government heavily regulates consumer product safety, banking, medical licensing, highways, auto emissions, postal services, environmental protection, electricity, water, and much more. But as technological advancement overcomes supposed market failures, the justifications for many long-standing, conventional regulatory interventions dissolve. For example, through developments such as sensors for auto emissions; smarttolls for highways; and quality assurance in medicine, banking, and online commerce, the private sector is addressing quality and safety in ways that can exceed the capabilities of governmental regulation. Meanwhile, new means of producing and delivering electrical, water, postal, and telephone services break down the natural-monopoly rationales for government oversight of those long-regulated services. Join us for a review of and debate about the public policy implications of recent technological breakthroughs.