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Reorganizing GovernmentA Functional and Dimensional Framework$
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Alejandro Camacho and Robert Glicksman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479829675

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479829675.001.0001

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Decentralization and the Functions of Food Regulation

Decentralization and the Functions of Food Regulation

Chapter:
(p.55) Chapter 3 Decentralization and the Functions of Food Regulation
Source:
Reorganizing Government
Author(s):

Alejandro E. Camacho

Robert L. Glicksman

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479829675.003.0004

Using the federal food safety regulatory laws as examples, this chapter explores the significance of governmental function in understanding and prescribing centralized and decentralized authority. It begins by examining how recurrent criticisms of federal food safety regulation for excessive decentralization have routinely failed to consider whether the optimal degree of centralization should vary by regulatory function. It then argues that functional differentiation can provide important analytical benefits, including (1) more accurate characterizations of existing regulatory programs, (2) mitigation of practical obstacles to desirable restructuring, (3) clarification of the tradeoffs of centralized or decentralized regulatory structures, and (4) illumination of alternative options for situating authority at different points on the centralization dimension. Finally, it contends that functional analysis can help policymakers improve the net benefits of choices along the centralization/decentralization dimension by identifying appropriate organizational choices along the other two dimensions for allocating authority.

Keywords:   centralization, decentralization, food safety regulation, governmental function, mitigation, regulatory structures

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