glyph 385: book, Bryce Wilkinson ... New Zealand ... political science, economics, law ... limitations on use of law, limited government ... placing boundaries around the activities of political organizations ... limiting designed orders to more closely approach freeorder ... among many writers cited: Richard Epstein, Gordon Tullock, James Buchanan, Gerald O'Driscoll, Bruno Leoni, Alexis de Tocqueville, James Madison, Henry Maine, Friedrich Hayek, Murray Rothbard ..... Muriel Newman, Center for Political Debate, New Zealand


"Constraining Government Regulation", by Bryce Wilkinson

A discussion paper for the New Zealand Business Roundtable

Bryce Wilkinson writes:

If governments were perfect, all laws and regulations would enhance human welfare and there would be no need for this report. Unfortunately, governments are not perfect. As a result, some laws and regulations may reduce citizens' welfare.


Acknowledgements v

Summary and overview vii

1 Introduction 1

2 Evidence of the Need for Regulatory Reform 5

2.1 Introduction 5
2.2 Symptoms of regulatory excess in New Zealand 5
2.3 New Zealand in an international context 43
2.4 Summary observations 55

3 What is Regulatory Reform About? 57

3.1 Introduction 57

3.2 Defining regulation and regulatory reform 58
3.3 Rules, regulations and liberty 60
3.4 Positive or welfare rights and redistribution 67
3.5 Regulation, economic freedom and prosperity 73
3.6 Regulation and the common law 79
3.7 Regulatory reform and government spending 82
3.8 Concluding comments 85

4 Various Reform Initiatives and Experiences 89

4.1 Introduction 89
4.2 Privatisation and ad hoc deregulation 89
4.3 Reforms to regulatory processes 92
4.4 Agency reforms 104
4.5 Sunset provisions and ad hoc reviews 110
4.6 Opt out and self-regulation 112
4.7 Regulatory budget 113
4.8 Concluding observations 114

5 Why Reform is so Difficult — Public Choice Theory 117

5.1 Introduction 117
5.2 Economic theories of regulation 117
5.3 The importance of ideas 132
5.4 Solutions to public choice difficulties 134

6 Constitutional Aspects of Regulation 137

6.1 Introduction 137
6.2 Constitutionalism and its origins 137
6.3 Separation of powers and the judiciary 141
6.4 The rule of law 148
6.5 Concluding observations 168

7 Regulatory Reform Options 171

7.1 Introduction 171
7.2 Reform objectives 171
7.3 Democracy 172
7.4 Separation of powers 177
7.5 The takings issue 181

8 Design Options for Possible Regulatory Constraints 205

8.1 Introduction 205
8.2 Constitutional principles for testing regulations 205
8.3 Tests for evaluating laws and regulations 209
8.4 One-off regulatory reform 213
8.5 Institutional reforms to regulatory processes 214
8.6 Concluding comments 225


A: Reform Experience in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom
and Canada 228

B: Current and Proposed Compliance and Monitoring Arrangements for
New Legislation and Regulations 232

C: Regulatory Responsibility Act 236

Bibliography 242

First published by the New Zealand Business Roundtable,
PO Box 10-147, The Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand
With Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc)
Auckland Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce
ISBN 1-877148-74-1
© 2001 edition: New Zealand Business Roundtable
Design and production by Daphne Brasell Associates Ltd
Printed by Astra Print Ltd, Wellington

Bryce Wilkinson's paper is thorough and scholarly, citing many of the leading thinkers on the important problem of limiting the use of government, among them Richard Epstein, Gordon Tullock, James Buchanan, Gerald O'Driscoll, Bruno Leoni, Alexis de Tocqueville, James Madison, Henry Maine, Friedrich Hayek, and Murray Rothbard. Thanks to Muriel Newman's email: "Newman Weekly" (March 11, 2007), from the Center for Political Debate, New Zealand, for an introduction to this paper. —Leif Smith, President, Explorers Foundation
March 11, 2007

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