Temporary Accidents?

In Part I of this Review, I will summarize Croley’s book, focusing on his powerful critique of public choice theory and the alternative account that he develops and defends. Part II assesses the book, arguing that Croley is successful in demonstrating agency autonomy but less successful in showing that either administrator motivations or the administrative process tend to make agencies regulate in welfare-enhancing ways. As is often the case, the critique is more powerful than the construction of the alternative account. Even so, Croley’s book should alter debates over the possibility of good government by placing the agency and how it does its business at the center of our understanding of government regulation.