European Journal of Law and Economics

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 13-50

First online:

Destructive Competition or Competition Destroyed? Regulatory Theory and the History of Irish Road Transportation Legislation

  • Keith JakeeAffiliated withVisiting Research Scholar, City University of StockholmLecturer, Department of Economics, Monash University
  • , Leonie AllenAffiliated withResearch Associate, Department of Economics, University of Limerick

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The principal aim of our study is to contribute to the debate over whether regulation is enacted in the interest of consumers, producers, political agents, or some combination of these. We examine the legislative debates and subsequent regulatory bills surrounding road transportation regulation in Ireland in light of the three dominant theories which purport to explain the existence of regulation: the public interest theory and the so-called Chicago and Virginia theories. A unique feature of our study is an attempt to integrate specific rhetorical concepts used in the public policy debates into the theoretical analysis of regulation. One noteworthy conclusion of our study is that theories of economic processes affect the shaping and results of public policy.

Regulatory theories Ireland's road and rail transportation regulation economic theory and political transfers