AEP-53802 Advanced Course on Economic Regulation


Credits 2.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper4
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. JHH Wesseler
dr. K Purnhagen
Lecturer(s)dr. K Purnhagen
prof. dr. JHH Wesseler
Examiner(s)prof. dr. JHH Wesseler
dr. K Purnhagen

Language of instruction:



Note: This course is part of the Wageningen School of Social Sciences Graduate programme in the MSc programmes MME, MID, MDR and MCH. You can register for the course via the registration form on the WASS website, For more information, please contact WASS via (practical information) or the course coordinator (course content).

From an economic perspective, the study of regulation looks at the benefits and costs of different regulatory approaches and to what extend objectives have been achieved. From a legal perspective, it looks at the effect of existing norms and studies evidence-based recommendations how laws, in combination with other policy tools, should to be designed. In the bioeconomy the field of regulation has gained momentum since phenomena such as climate change, food scarcity, technical (e.g. new plant breeding technology, synthetic biology), and global trade initiates new challenges for regulative measures.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand similarities and differences between common and civil law countries with respect to the use of regulations;
- understand the concept of liability law and how this is applied in view of ex-post and ex-ante regulation;
- identify the regulations used to govern key bioeconomy technologies;
- identify and apply the economic tools to assess welfare implications of regulations (ex post and ex ante);
- assess specific regulations from an economic as well as legal perspective and be able to combine both.


Lectures, discussion groups, reading assignments, and a practical.


Students need to write an essay (3000 to 4000 words, excluding bibliography, table, and graphs) using one example of an EU act and discuss the advantages and disadvantages from national, EU, and international perspectives.


Coase (1960). The Problem of Social Costs. Journal of Law and Economics 3:1-44. |
Kolstad, Ulen, Johnson (1990). Ex-Post Liability for Harm vs. Ex-Ante Safety Regulation: Substitutes or Complements? American Economic Review 80(4):888-801.
Posner (2010) Regulation (Agencies) versus Litigation (Courts): An Analytical Framework. In: Kessler (ed.) Regulation vs. Litigation: Perspectives from Economics and Law, pp. 11-16. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Rothbard (1982) Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution. Cato Journal 2(1): 55 - 99.
Shavell (1984). A Model of Optimal Use of Liability and Safety Regulation. The RAND Journal of Economics 15(2): 271 - 280.
Shleifer (2010) Efficient Regulation. In: Kessler (ed.) Regulation vs. Litigation: Perspectives from Economics and Law, pp. 27-43. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.