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Regulation is not Flan

February 1, 2012

Not at all like regulation

Regulation is not like pig iron. It is not like bushels of wheat. Regulation is a list of rules that the government wants people and firms to follow. It is not homogenous, and the sheer quantity of it is irrelevant for policy outcomes. It’s not like the financial crisis would have been avoided, but for another 100 pages of regulation. What matters is not the physical mass of the text, but the content of the rules themselves and the incentives they place on individuals. If all you can say about a topic is that there should be more or less regulation, and you can’t actually come up with any specific rules which need to be added or removed, just be quiet.

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