Bootleggers, Baptists & Televangelists: Regulating Tobacco by Litigation

58 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2007

See all articles by Bruce Yandle

Bruce Yandle

Clemson University - John E. Walker Department of Economics

Joseph Rotondi

Independent

Andrew P. Morriss

Texas A&M School of Innovation; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Andrew Dorchak

Case Western Reserve University Law Library

Date Written: August 2007

Abstract

The bootleggers and Baptists public choice theory of regulation explains how durable regulatory bargains can arise from the tacit collaboration of a public-interest-minded interest group (the Baptists) with an economic interest (the bootleggers). Using the history of tobacco regulation, this Article extends the bootleggers and Baptists theory of regulation to incorporate the role of policy entrepreneurs like the state attorneys general and private trial lawyers who joined forces to regulate tobacco by litigation. We denominate these actors televangelists and demonstrate that they play a pernicious role in regulation.

The Article begins by showing how tobacco regulation through the 1980s fit the traditional bootleggers and Baptists public choice model. It then explores the circumstances that made it possible for the emergence of the televangelists as a regulatory partner that the bootleggers would prefer. The Article then criticizes televangelist-bootlegger bargains as likely to result in substantial wealth transfers from large, unorganized groups to the coalition partners. It also shows how televangelist-bootlegger coalitions are more pernicious than bootlegger-Baptist coalitions. Finally, it concludes with suggestions for how to make televangelist-bootlegger coalitions less durable.

Suggested Citation

Yandle, Thomas and Rotondi, Joseph and Morriss, Andrew P. and Dorchak, Andrew, Bootleggers, Baptists & Televangelists: Regulating Tobacco by Litigation (August 2007). U Illinois Law & Economics Research Paper No. LE07-021. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1010695 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1010695

Thomas Yandle

Clemson University - John E. Walker Department of Economics ( email )

Clemson, SC 29634
United States
864-656-3970 (Phone)
864-656-4192 (Fax)

Joseph Rotondi

Independent

No Address Available

Andrew P. Morriss (Contact Author)

Texas A&M School of Innovation ( email )

1249 TAMU / 645 Lamar St.
College Station, TX 77843
United States

PERC - Property and Environment Research Center ( email )

2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

Andrew Dorchak

Case Western Reserve University Law Library ( email )

11075 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106
United States

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