Course #

The course is concerned with how corporations respond to regulations and other forms of policy incentives in order to understand how to align regulatory intent and outcomes.  Corporations pose special challenges and opportunities for policymakers due to the extreme mutability of corporate organization and behavior.  Products, target customers, production methods, services, locational structure, organizational design, legal formalizations and even corporate identity are all subject to rapid change.  Further, policy that seeks specific social impact must deal not only with this wide range of potential corporate choice at the firm level, but also the external competitive forces that generate changes often against the will of corporate incumbents. The course will focus on understanding real-world corporate responses, which often frustrate regulators and how regulations could have been designed such that real world outcomes would have come closer to the regulator’s original intent.  We will also carefully look at the inherent trade-offs in policy designs to help understand how regulators can set more realistic goals.