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Law and the Limits of Government

Temporary versus Permanent Legislation Frank Fagan, Associate Professor of Law, EDHEC Business School, France
Why do legislatures pass laws that automatically expire? Why are so many tax cuts sunset? In this first book-length treatment of those questions, the author explains that legislatures pass laws temporarily in order to reduce opposition from the citizenry, to increase the level of information revealed by lobbies, and to externalize the political costs of changing the tax code on to future legislatures. This book provides a careful analysis which does not normatively prescribe either permanent or temporary legislation in every instance, but rather specifies the conditions for which either permanent or temporary legislation would maximize social welfare.
Extent: 168 pp
Hardback Price: $120.00 Web: $108.00
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 978 0 85793 865 7
Availability: In Stock
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Law and Economics
  • Law - Academic
  • Constitutional and Administrative Law
  • Law and Economics
Why do legislatures pass laws that automatically expire? Why are so many tax cuts sunset? In this first book-length treatment of those questions, the author explains that legislatures pass laws temporarily in order to reduce opposition from the citizenry, to increase the level of information revealed by lobbies, and to externalize the political costs of changing the tax code on to future legislatures. This book provides a careful analysis which does not normatively prescribe either permanent or temporary legislation in every instance, but rather specifies the conditions for which either permanent or temporary legislation would maximize social welfare.

Containing comprehensive, theoretical and empirical analysis of temporary lawmaking, Law and the Limits of Government will appeal to academics in law, economic and political science, lawmakers and policy advocates.
‘Law and the Limits of Government by Frank Fagan is a creative and enormously useful book for any scholar of legislation, timing rules, and politics.’
– Jacob Gersen, Harvard Law School, US
Contents: Foreword by Francesco Parisi Part I: Theory 1. Introduction 2. Short- to Medium-term Residual Effects 3. Long-term Residual Effects 4. Information and Commitment 5. Temporary Tax Legislation Part II: Evidence 6. Passage Probability 7. Sponsor's Age 8. Conclusion Bibliography Index