21st Century Regulation: Discovering Better Solutions for Enduring Problems

Sep 15, 2008
L'Enfant Plaza Hotel 480 L'Enfant Plaza SW Washington, DC 20024

Conference Video:

Opening Remarks   Panel One   Panel Two   Lunch Panel

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University hosted a conference on September 15, 2008 that examined the theme "21st Century Regulation: Discovering Better Solutions for Enduring Problems." 

The start of a new administration will offer the nation's next president the opportunity to put his stamp on regulation and the regulatory process. Every president in the last generation has modified the way the federal government utilizes regulation as a tool to solve problems that all Americans care about, including a healthy environment, stable financial markets, safe consumer goods, and workplace health and safety.

8:30-9:00 am Continental Breakfast and Registration

9:00-9:45 am Opening Session 
Tyler Cowen, General Director, Mercatus Center at George Mason University; Professor, George Mason University – Introduction to Mercatus and the Regulatory Studies Program
Bruce Yandle, Clemson University – Why does the new century call for a new approach to regulation? What’s changed? What’s not working?

10:00-11:00 am Grin and Bare It: Transparency in Regulation
How can the regulatory process be changed to make it more flexible and outcome-oriented? How can Congress improve its oversight of regulatory activity so as to make regulators more accountable to the American people?
Henry Wray, Visiting Fellow, Mercatus Center at George Mason University
Scott Farrow, Professor and Chair, Department of Economics, University of Maryland at Baltimore
John Morrall, Branch Chief for Health, Transportation, and General Government in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President
Bruce Yandle (moderator)

11:10 am – 12:10 pm Online and On Point: Keeping Regulation Ahead of the Curve
How should regulators approach new technologies in such a way that maximizes their potential benefits while minimizing their potential risks? How can market participants find solutions to problems outside the regulatory structure?
Gary Marchant, Lincoln Professor of Emerging Technologies, Law and Ethics, Arizona State University
Richard Williams, Managing Director, Regulatory Studies Program and Government Accountability Project, Mercatus Center at George Mason University
Megan McArdle, Atlantic Monthly
Bruce Yandle (moderator)

12:15-1:30 pm Lunch and Keynote Presentation: Implications of the Presidential Election
Tim Carney, Senior Reporter for Evans-Novak Political Report, a columnist for the Washington Examiner, and a contributing editor at Human Events
Bob Davis, Wall Street Journal
Veronique de Rugy, Senior Fellow, Mercatus Center at George Mason University
Tyler Cowen (moderator)

1:30-1:35 Conclusion


Tim Carney is the editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report and a columnist for the Washington Examiner. Tim's 2006 book, The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money won the Lysander Spooner Award for Best Book on Liberty from Laissez Faire Books. Previously, Tim worked for columnist Robert Novak and for Human Events, and he has served journalism fellowships with the Phillips Foundation and the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

An alumnus of St. John's College in Annapolis and a native of New York, Tim lives with his wife Katie and their two children in Silver Spring, Maryland. 

Tyler Cowen is the general director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and holds the Holbert C. Harris Chair of Economics at George Mason University. He also serves on the Mercatus Center's board of directors.

He worked until 1989 as an assistant and associate professor of economics at the University of California, Irvine and then returned to George Mason, where in 1998 he was named general director of both the Mercatus Center and George Mason's James M. Buchanan Center for Political Economy. In 2000, Dr. Cowen was named the Holbert C. Harris Chair of Economics.

A dedicated writer and translator of economic ideas who often delves into the economics of culture, Dr. Cowen has published dozens of books, reviews, and articles. His most recent book, Discover Your Inner Economist, shows how economic notions—such as incentives, signals, and markets—apply far more widely than merely to the decisions of social planners, governments, and big business.

His previous books include: Good & Plenty: The Creative Successes of American Arts Funding (2006); Markets and Culture Voices: Liberty vs. Power in the Lives of the  Mexican Amate Painters (2005); Creative Destruction: How Globalization is Changing the World's Cultures (2002); What Price Fame? (2000);  and In Praise of Commercial Culture (1998).Dr. Cowen has also edited multiple works, including the volumes Public Goods and Market Failures, Economic Welfare, and New Theories of Market Failure. He co-authored the 1994 book Explorations in the New Monetary Economics with Randall Kroszner.  

Dr. Cowen studied economics at George Mason University and earned his PhD from Harvard University in 1987. He writes daily for his popular web log with colleague Alex Tabarrok - The Marginal Revolution.

Bob Davis is the international economics correspondent for the Wall Street Journal based in Washington, DC He’s responsible for looking broadly at globalization, development and international economic relations.

Until Sept. 2007, Mr. Davis was the Journal’s Latin America bureau chief based in Washington DC, and oversaw bureaus in Mexico and Brazil. Under his direction, the Journal has won the Overseas Press Club’s Robert Spiers Benjamin award for Latin America coverage for 2005, and won a citation for Latin American coverage in 2006.

From 2002-2004, Mr. Davis was the Washington DC news editor responsible for coverage of economic policy making; he also reported on economic trends. During 2001 and 2002, he was the Wall Street Journal’s Brussels bureau chief.