Deregulation: The Anatomy of a Catchword
The question of the desirability and extent of state intervention in market processes is a recurrent theme almost as old as economic theorizing itself. Starting with the confrontation between the laissez-faire ideology emanating from Manchester and its sceptical opponents in the less developed nations (List in Germany, Carey in the United States), the question resurfaces in the never-ending free trade-protectionism debate, the battle between Chicago/Freiburg liberals and Keynesian interventionists, and so on and so forth. With the wave of conservatism that began in the early 1970s, there has been a noticeable shift in these seesaw discussions in favour of market-oriented policies, with ‘deregulation’ and ‘privatization’ emerging as popular catchwords. My aim is to look a bit more critically at the recent battle-cry for deregulation.
KeywordsMarket Process Allocative Efficiency Positive Theory Mixed Economy Pareto Optimal Outcome
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