The Evolution Of Bank Regulation: The Interplay Of Regulators And The Regulated
This dissertation investigates the evolution of commercial bank regulation by focusing on what lawmakers enact, how regulators implement it, and how it evolves. Much of the scholarly literature conceives of regulation either as a tool that is captured by the regulated industry or as a means by which government officials castigate business. According to these conceptions, relatively stable and consistent patterns of influence develop whereby one set of actors directs the actions of other actors within this policy realm. Not only do these approaches incompletely model the policymaking process, but they also oversimplify the relationships between the actors. In contrast, I argue that these conceptions of regulation are inaccurate and that banking regulation is a case of pluralism. By examining the periods with multiple federal regulators that were also marked by significant instabilities in the banking system, I argue that the evolution of regulation is more accurately understood as a process of "partisan mutual adjustment." According to this conception, multiple actors within this policy realm exist in a state of interdependence in which they interact consequentially and exert influence upon the others whenever they choose to do so. This relationship among the actors explains the unusual policymaking pattern over this period in which numerous crises struck the banking sector, yet the actors persisted in their "deregulatory" efforts despite these events. Through this examination of banking regulation, my dissertation suggests policymakers be much more cognizant of the interdependencies among the actors and the countermoves that one actor's moves can trigger in this dynamic environment. This approach prepares policymakers to institute reforms more likely to succeed at averting another financial crisis.
pluralism; partisan mutual adjustment; commercial bank regulation
Lowi, Theodore J
Hay, George Alan; Shefter, Martin Allen; Mayhew, David R
Ph. D., Government
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis