Professor in Political Science and Computer and Information Science

David Lazer


Research on domestic regulation and regulatory interdependence in the international system

There are two major themes in my research on regulation. The first is around domestic regulation, focusing on an emerging regulatory approach that Cary Coglianese and I have labeled "management-based regulation" (MBR). MBR is an intervention at the management level, rather than output or technology level, and has really become quite widespread in the last 15 years, as command and control has hit its limits in a variety of domains. Our papers provide an exploration of the defining features of this regulatory tool, and point to underlying conditions (e.g., heterogeneity of regulated sites, and high costs of measurement) under which MBR might be a desirable regulatory model.

In the second theme of my research on regulation, I look at the types of regulatory interdependence that exist in the international system. In particular, I have argued that there are three modes of regulatory policy interdependence: competitive, coordinative, and informational. In the competitive mode, states use regulatory policy to differentiate themselves in competition with other states—e.g., for international capital. In the coordinative mode, states benefit by having the same standards as other states—e.g., to maintain access to foreign markets. Finally, in the informational mode, states are informationally interdependent, where the experiences of one country provide lessons for others.

Regulation: Publications List

Publications list

D. Lazer, International coordination of regulation. The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Online Edition. Eds. Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume. Palgrave Macmillan, 2009

D. Lazer, “Global and Domestic Interdependence: Modes of Interdependence in Regulatory Policymaking.” European Law Journal, 2006.

D. Lazer, and V. Mayer-Schönberger, “Statutory Frameworks for Regulating Information Flows: Drawing Lessons for DNA Data Banks from other Government Data Systems.” Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, 2006.

D. Lazer, “Regulatory Capitalism as a Networked Order: The International System as an Informational Network,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, March, 2005.

Management-Based Regulation: Prescribing Private Management to Achieve Public Goals,” Law & Society Review, December 2003.

Journal Article
Publication date: 
Cary Coglianese
David Lazer

We analyze a little-studied regulatory approach that we call management-based regulation. Management-based regulation directs regulated organizations to engage in a planning process that aims toward the achievement of public goals, offering firms flexibility in how they achieve public goals.

private management
public goals