Brief book review – The Behavioral Code: The Hidden Ways the Law Makes Us Better Or Worse

Benjamin van Rooij and Adam Fine, 2021, Yale University Press, 384 pages Don’t think that The Behavioral Code: The Hidden Ways the Law Makes Us Better Or Worse is yet another popular science book that simply rides on the wave caused by Nudge. It is not. Or actually, it is, but not in the way … Continue reading Brief book review – The Behavioral Code: The Hidden Ways the Law Makes Us Better Or Worse

Brief book review – Nudge: The Final Edition

Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, 2021, Yale University Press, 384 pages There will be few regulators who have not heard of the groundbreaking book Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness, published in 2008 by Professors Richard Thaler (University of Chicago) and Cass Sunstein (Harvard University). The authors have joined forces once more in … Continue reading Brief book review – Nudge: The Final Edition

The insidious regulatory challenges of the 21st Century

In my role as Chair in Regulatory Practice, I am often asked what I think are the biggest challenges for regulators in the critical decades that lie ahead. The expectation is that I will then discuss challenges such as disruptive technology, climate change, or even the next pandemic. These are important, but I do not … Continue reading The insidious regulatory challenges of the 21st Century

The role of risk-based thinking in regulatory stewardship

This is a transcript of a key-note lecture in the "Driving Risk-Based Regulation" conference, presented on 24 February 2021. The slides to the presentation are available at the end of the transcript (below). Kia ora. It is my pleasure to kick off today's sessions in this excellent online conference. Since 2013, New Zealand's regulatory agencies … Continue reading The role of risk-based thinking in regulatory stewardship

Behavioural insight and regulatory practice: Available as open access paper

The use of insights from the behavioural sciences in the development and implementation of regulation has quickly received interest from governments and scholarship around the globe. There are good reasons for this. Reading the experiences reported by policymakers and regulators, it becomes clear that using insights from the behavioural sciences ‘allows policy-makers to better understand … Continue reading Behavioural insight and regulatory practice: Available as open access paper

Responsive regulation in practice: Now available as open access paper

Published in 1992, the book Responsive Regulation: Transcending the Deregulation Debate has become a central work in the canon of regulatory scholarship. The book is a collaboration between Professors Ian Ayres (Yale University) and John Braithwaite (Australian National University), and builds on Braithwaite’s earlier studies on regulation, enforcement and compliance. Responsive regulation is probably best … Continue reading Responsive regulation in practice: Now available as open access paper

Responsive Regulation (5): Ethical and epistemic challenges

To conclude this review of the literature on responsive regulation, I will zoom in on ethical and epistemic challenges. In other words, is it proper for governments to base their regulatory responses on the actions of their targets? Is this not violating the assumption that like-cases should be treated alike? To what extent (and how) … Continue reading Responsive Regulation (5): Ethical and epistemic challenges

Responsive regulation (4): Evidence and findings

We now have a good understanding of the breadth and depth of responsive regulation. We have seen that the theory provides a broad set of heuristics and hands-on strategies to improve regulatory practice—and that it is about much more than the famous regulatory pyramid. We have also seen that responsive regulation is applied in a … Continue reading Responsive regulation (4): Evidence and findings

Responsive regulation (3): Examples

In the previous blog post on the evolution and success of the ideas underpinning Responsive Regulation, I have summed up responsive regulation as a set of heuristics and a set of strategies. Perhaps the best-known heuristic is the notion of escalation from less-intrusive to more-intrusive regulatory responses if non-compliance is found. Likewise, maybe the most … Continue reading Responsive regulation (3): Examples

Responsive regulation (2): Evolution and success

It is not easy to capture the essence of responsive regulation[i]: “Responsive regulation is not a clearly defined program or a set of prescriptions concerning the best way to regulate. (…) Responsiveness is rather an attitude that enables the blossoming of a wide variety of regulatory approaches [none of which are the] optimal or best … Continue reading Responsive regulation (2): Evolution and success