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Regulatory Breakdown: The Crisis of Confidence in U.S. Regulation brings fresh insight and analytic rigor to what has become one of the most contested domains of American domestic politics. Critics from the left blame lax regulation for the housing meltdown and financial crisis-not to mention major public health disasters ranging from the Gulf Coast oil spill to the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion. At the same time, critics on the right disparage an excessively strict and costly regulatory system for hampering economic recovery. With such polarized accounts of regulation and its performance, the nation needs now more than ever the kind of dispassionate, rigorous scholarship found in this book. With chapters written by some of the nation's foremost economists, political scientists, and legal scholars, Regulatory Breakdown brings clarity to the heated debate over regulation by dissecting the disparate causes of the current crisis as well as analyzing promising solutions to what ails the U.S. regulatory system. This volume shows policymakers, researchers, and the public why they need to question conventional wisdom about regulation-whether from the left or the right-and demonstrates the value of undertaking systematic analysis before adopting policy reforms in the wake of disaster.