Regulating by Repute

16 Pages Posted: 3 May 2012

See all articles by David T. Zaring

David T. Zaring

University of Pennsylvania - Legal Studies Department

Date Written: May 3, 2012


This review essay evaluates Daniel Carpenter’s theory that the Food and Drug Administration’s successful history is largely due to its strong reputation. Reputation is an increasingly popular explanation for legal compliance when a tally of the more immediate and tangible costs and benefits would suggest that noncompliance or shirking would be the more rational choice, and evaluating the way Carpenter explores reputation’s important to the FDA allows for a broader consideration of its role in regulatory projects more generally. Moreover, by delving into what the agency did once it was given the authority to permit or reject the sale of drugs in the American market, Carpenter offers an account of what happens in agencies after administrative law stops its usual inquiry – or, at least, after it did so in the case of the FDA. The essay explores the implications of that “ordinary governance” for the usual focuses of legal scholarship.

Suggested Citation

Zaring, David T., Regulating by Repute (May 3, 2012). Michigan Law Review, Vol. 110, No. 6, p. 1003, 2012, Available at SSRN:

David T. Zaring (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Legal Studies Department ( email )

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Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

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