Regulation and Sarbanes-Oxley

9 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2009

See all articles by Oliver Hart

Oliver Hart

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)


Many of the papers in this special issue are concerned with regulation and some with Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX). In this commentary I will begin by summarizing the arguments for regulation that have been made in the literature.1 I will then consider whether these arguments apply to SOX. I will suggest that, rather than being based on sound principles, regulation often seems to be a consequence of the public’s need for action in response to a crisis, and that this was the case with SOX .I will argue that the recent financial meltdown provides another example of the same phenomenon.

Suggested Citation

Hart, Oliver D., Regulation and Sarbanes-Oxley. Available at SSRN: or

Oliver D. Hart (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-3461 (Phone)
617-495-7730 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics