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This chapter reviews a range of topics connected to the justification of government regulation, including: the definition of “regulation”; welfarism, Kaldor-Hicks efficiency, and the Pareto principles; the fundamental theorems of welfare economics and the “market failure” framework for justifying regulation, which identifies different ways in which the conditions for those theorems may fail to hold true (such as externalities, public goods, monopoly power, and imperfect information); the Coase theorem; and the different forms of regulation.


Administrative law and regulation, regulation defined, moral evaluation of regulation, economic rationales for regulation, welfarism, Kaldor-Hicks principle, Pareto principle, welfare economics, market failure, externalities, public goods and monopoly power, The Coase Theorem, information and paternalism as rationales for regulation, regulatory forms and regulatory choice criteria

Publication Title

A Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory

Publication Citation

Forthcoming in Dennis Paterson, ed., A Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory (Cambridge U. Press).