Regulation and Regulatory Agencies

Regulation has been defined broadly as the intentional restriction of a subject’s choice of activity, by an entity not directly party to or involved in that activity. In its most familiar form, regulation concerns restrictions placed by government on activities in the private sector (although government may also regulate itself). Normally, government acts as an agent for its citizens and, as such, is obligated to give account of its actions. Hence, regulations, as well as other government actions, are normally accompanied by a formal rationale, though the content of the rationale may range from substantive to purely symbolic in character. There are many possible forms for this rationale, but it is generally given the label of “the public interest.” Hence, regulation can be defined more ...

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