The Half-Life of Policy Rationales argues that the appropriateness of policy depends on the state of technology, and that the justifications for many public policies are dissolving as technology advances. As new detection and metering technologies are being developed for highways, parking, and auto emissions, and information becomes more accessible and user-friendly, this volume argues that quality and safety are better handled by the private sector. As for public utilities, new means of producing and delivering electricity, water, postal, and telephone services dissolve the old natural-monopolies rationales of the government.
This volume includes essays on marine resources, lighthouses, highways, parking, auto emissions, consumer product safety, money and banking, medical licensing, electricity, water delivery, postal service, community governance, and endangered species. The editors have mobilized the hands-on knowledge of field experts to develop theories about technology and public policy. The Half-Life of Policy Rationales will be of interest to readers in public policy, technology, property rights, and economics.
“Points out a serious gap in the current theory of economic policy: it treats the current state of technology as fixed. New technologies can in fact solve many problems that otherwise appear to be market failures. This volume is one of the freshest and most vital contributions to the public policy debate in years.”
-Tyler Cowen,George Mason University and author of Creative Destruction: How Globalization Is Changing the World's Cultures
“The thoughtful collection of papers shows that developments and technology will in the future preferentially favor individuals over governments as long as we get the policy framework right.“
-Terence Kealey,author of The Economic Laws of Scientific Research
“This makes for provocative and profitable reading.”
-Markets & Morality
“Whether you are interested in the role of government and markets, or the role of technology in society, or in specific policy areas, Half-Life makes for stimulating reading. Foldvary and Klein should be commended for bringing together many disparate policy areas under one roof, and assessing the role of technology in promoting choice, freedom, and prosperity.”
-Knowledge, Technology, & Policy
“The Half-Life of Policy Rationales is one clever book. Nothing in recent years on economics of new technology comes close.”
-The Independent Review