Competitive Third-Party Regulation: How Private Certification Can Overcome Constraints that Frustrate Government Regulation

Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Vol. 15:539 (2014)

34 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2013 Last revised: 20 Jun 2014

Timothy D. Lytton

Georgia State University College of Law

Date Written: August 20, 2013

Abstract

Private certification as a means of risk regulation and quality assurance offers advantages over government regulation, including superior technical expertise, better inspection and monitoring of regulated entities, increased responsiveness to consumers, and greater efficiency. This article examines two examples of reliable private certification in regulatory arenas — fire safety and kosher food — where political opposition and resource constraints have frustrated government regulatory efforts. The article identifies the conditions that promote reliable private certification and analyzes its comparative institutional advantages over government regulation. Critics of private certification question its legitimacy, asserting that private regulation is less participatory, transparent, and accountable than government regulation. The article responds to these claims, arguing that the two examples of private certification presented here compare favorably with government regulation based on these criteria of legitimacy.

Keywords: regulation, private standards, certification, governance

JEL Classification: A12, D73, H11, I118, K23, L15, L51

Suggested Citation

Lytton, Timothy D., Competitive Third-Party Regulation: How Private Certification Can Overcome Constraints that Frustrate Government Regulation (August 20, 2013). Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Vol. 15:539 (2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2313109 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2313109

Timothy D. Lytton (Contact Author)

Georgia State University College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

HOME PAGE: http://law.gsu.edu/profile/timothy-d-lytton/

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