Bootleggers, Baptists and Political Entrepreneurs: Key Players in the Rational and Morality Play of Regulatory Politics

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The Independent Review





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Bruce Yandle developed the bootlegger-and-Baptist model out of his experience as a US regulatory economist in 1983. Bootlegger and Baptist are terms he uses to identify a coalition of seemingly opposed groups who need each other in order to gain the acceptance of a policy proposal. In the bootlegger-and-Baptist story, the two groups come together to achieve a common policy goal. The effects of their collective action are well understood and described in what is becoming a large literature. A second feature is that bootleggers can rely on Baptists to monitor and enforce the restrictions that benefit bootleggers. Discovering new opportunity horizons involves determining the best tactics to use given the type of groups the political entrepreneur seeks to coordinate. The entrepreneur must sometimes begin as a preacher without a congregation who identifies a new policy gospel and preaches it until he has a congregation.

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