The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent


The Ongoing Cato Unbound Debate over "The Captured Economy"

Several commentators (myself included) continue the debate over Brink Lindsey and Steven Teles' important new book.


At the Cato Unbound website, the symposium on Brink Lindsey and Steve Teles' important new book, book The Captured Economy continues. The book argues that the "capture" of government regulation by wealthy interest groups has slowed economic growth, increased inequality, and reduced opportunity for the poor; it also proposes various potential remedies for the problem. I previously reviewed The Captured Economy here.

Lindsey and Teles' opening essay is followed by response essays contributed by Richard Reeves (Brookings Institution), Henry Farrell (George Washington University), and myself. Lindsey and Teles have now responded to their critics (here, here, and here). I have responded to some of Farrell's and Reeves' criticisms of my arguments (see here, here, and here). The big point at issue between me and several of the other participants is whether and to what extent we need to shrink and decentralize government in order to reduce the incidence of capture. Whereas I argue that Lindsey and Teles underestimate the need to cut back on the role of government, Farrell contends they want to go to far in that direction.

I am grateful to the the other participants in the symposium for their many insights. The discussion is likely to continue for at least a few more days.