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More Than You Wanted to KnowThe Failure of Mandated Disclosure$
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Omri Ben-Shahar and Carl E. Schneider

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161709

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161709.001.0001

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The Politics of Disclosure

The Politics of Disclosure

(p.138) Chapter 9 The Politics of Disclosure
More Than You Wanted to Know

Omri Ben-Shahar

Carl E. Schneider

Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that even if simplification worked better, it would often be defeated by the political dynamics of regulation. First, mandates expand, exacerbating the overload problem. Second, new mandates proliferate, exacerbating the accumulation problem. Mandated disclosure is some sort of a regulatory hydra: cut of one of its heads, and two grow back. The politics of lawmaking helps explain why faites simple fails. The chapter explains why lawmakers routinely impose and extend mandates despite their unreliability. It considers a number of factors that affect the creation and perpetuation of disclosure mandates, including the plausibility of disclosure and the idea—however illusory—that mandated disclosure is all benefit and no cost. It suggests that disclosure is politically attractive in part because lawmakers rarely assess its benefits or burdens.

Keywords:   simplification, regulation, overload problem, accumulation problem, mandated disclosure, politics, lawmaking, lawmakers

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