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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 361 of the late James Q. Wilson’s 1980 essay “The Politics of Regulation,” which is Chapter 10 of the classic collection he edited in 1980, The Politics of Regulation:

The virtues of the economic perspective are clear. It cuts away the naïve assumption, sometimes to be found in the minds of unreflective proponents of regulation, that government officials, unlike businessmen or consumers, are selfless, altruistic individuals. They, too, respond to rewards. We want to understand these rewards in order to predict how they will behave as regulators. Moreover, the economic perspective is a powerful analytical tool; provided the facts are consistent with the model, it offers an elegant and parsimonious way of explaining a great deal of human behavior.

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