Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=162770
 
 

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The Political Origins of the Administrative Procedure Act


Mathew D. McCubbins


Duke University

Roger G. Noll


Stanford University - Department of Economics

Barry R. Weingast


Stanford University - The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace


Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Vol. 15, No. 1, Spring 1999

Abstract:     
For a decade after the passage of the Second New Deal, political leaders and many important interest groups fiercely debated what procedural requirements, if any, should be imposed on the new regulatory agencies. This debate led eventually to the passage of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) of 1946. The purpose of this paper is to explain the significance of the various procedural requirements that were considered, and to develop and test a political theory of why some proposals were passed while others were rejected, and why a decade transpired before legislation could succeed. Although the APA typically is seen as a codification of individual rights in a system or procedural due process, we argue that to answer these questions requires understanding the policy consequences of alternative procedural reforms. Thus, we develop and test a political theory, based on the views of legislators about the proper role of the federal government in regulating business, that seeks to explain patterns of support and opposition to legislative reforms. We conclude that the dominant factor explaining these patterns is support for New Deal regulatory policy, and that the primary explanation for the failure of administrative reform proposals before World War II but their success later was the desire of New Deal Democrats to "hard wire" the policies of the New Deal against an expected Republican, anti-New Deal political tide in the late 1940s.

Accepted Paper Series


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Date posted: June 20, 1999  

Suggested Citation

McCubbins, Mathew D. and Noll, Roger G. and Weingast, Barry R., The Political Origins of the Administrative Procedure Act. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Vol. 15, No. 1, Spring 1999. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=162770

Contact Information

Mathew D. McCubbins
Duke University ( email )
Department of Political Science
208 Gross Hall, 140 Science Drive
Durham, NC 27708
United States
(213) 973-7538 (Phone)
(213) 973-3623 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://mccubbins.us
Roger G. Noll (Contact Author)
Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )
Landau Economics Building
579 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6072
United States
650-723-2297 (Phone)
650-725-5702 (Fax)
Barry R. Weingast
Stanford University - The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace ( email )
Stanford, CA 94305-6010
United States
650-723-0497 (Phone)
650-723-1808 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://https://www.stanford.edu/group/mcnollgast/cgi-bin/wordpress/
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