Game Theory and the Structure of Administrative Law

33 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2013 Last revised: 15 Apr 2015

See all articles by Yehonatan Givati

Yehonatan Givati

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law

Date Written: October 30, 2013


How should administrative agencies choose among the different policymaking instruments at their disposal? Although the administrative law literature has explored this question with respect to the instruments of adjudication and rulemaking, it has failed to appreciate two other powerful instruments at agencies’ disposal: advance ruling and licensing. Taking these four policymaking instruments into consideration, this Article provides a general theory to guide agencies in selecting the most suitable policymaking instrument in different policy environments. To do so, the Article utilizes a new game-theoretic framework, focusing on two central dimensions of policymaking instruments in particular: timing and breadth. This framework provides two valuable implications. First, it highlights two key administrative challenges that are underappreciated by the academic literature: the hold-up and leniency problems. And second, the framework shows that administrative agencies are underutilizing two powerful policy making instruments, namely, licensing and advanced rulings. I argue that these two instruments area valuable across areas of law.

Keywords: Administrative Law, Policymaking Instruments

Suggested Citation

Givati, Yehonatan, Game Theory and the Structure of Administrative Law (October 30, 2013). University of Chicago Law Review 81: 481-518 (2014), Available at SSRN:

Yehonatan Givati (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Scopus, 91905

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