Obstacles to Optimal Policy: The Interplay of Politics and Economics in Shaping Bank Supervision and Regulation Reforms
52 Pages Posted: 5 May 2000 Last revised: 17 Oct 2010
Date Written: March 2000
This paper provides a positive political economy analysis of the most important revision of the U.S. supervision and regulation system during the last two decades, the 1991 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act (FDICIA). We analyze the impact of private interest groups as well as political-institutional factors on the voting patterns on amendments related to FDICIA and its final passage to assess the empirical importance of different types of obstacles to welfare-enhancing reforms. Rivalry of interests within the industry (large versus small banks) and between industries (banks versus insurance) as well as measures of legislator ideology and partisanship play important roles and, hence, should be taken into account in order to implement successful change. A divide and conquer' strategy with respect to the private interests appears to be effective in bringing about legislative reform. The concluding section draws tentative lessons from the political economy approaches about how to increase the likelihood of welfare-enhancing regulatory change.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation