Letters and Notes

Heuristics and biases in regulatory decision making

In his thought provoking note Applying behavioural economics at the Regulatory Conduct
Authority, 2 Stephen Littlechild has drawn attention to an important set of questions about the
use of behavioural economics in regulation. The Regulatory Conduct Authority of the paper’s
title is an imaginary agency that made a brief, Brigadoon-like appearance on 1 April 2014. Its
hypothetical purpose is to make use of behavioural economics in regulating other regulators.

Read More »
assorted books on book shelves
New Series

On the discovery and assessment of economic evidence in competition law

Assessment of economic data/information/evidence in more or less any context can raise difficult issues. Compared with the testing of hypotheses and theories in the physical sciences, there is much less ability to make use of controlled, repeated/repeatable experiments; and the resulting limitations are often reinforced by the complexity of the relationships and interactions that are involved in the determination of economic outcomes. This complexity necessarily leads to high degrees of uncertainty, particularly (though by no means exclusively) uncertainty about the future.

Read More »
Contributions to External Events and Publications

Understanding the economic rationale for legal services regulation – A collection of essays

Last year we took the decision to take a step back from the existing regulatory structures and consider the underlying purpose of regulation of legal services, the legal services professions and the legal services market. We commissioned Chris Decker and George Yarrow from the Regulatory Policy Institute to write a report summarising what economics in particular can teach us. This report was never intended to be the last word on the subject, but we hoped that it might spur debate and lead to greater academic interest, both in and beyond law schools, in the topic of legal services regulation.
We are publishing this report, together with this collection of essays which provide responses from a variety of perspectives, at a fascinating time in the development of the regulation in legal services, both in England and Wales and indeed globally.

Read More »