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Houston Law Review

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technological innovations, technology and state, precautionary principle, unintended consequences


Law | Law and Economics | Science and Technology Law


In this Essay, I explain why and how certain technologies I refer to as "inchoate" defeat regulatory interventions. I examine the "law" of unintended consequences and the role of regulatory ideologies. I suggest that traditional policymaking models, when applied to inchoate technologies, do not adequately reflect the risk of regulatory failure, which is proportional to the level of inchoateness of the technology. I also consider whether the regulation of inchoate technologies should take into account that, and may in fact be undesirable because, some technologies (or the use thereof) tend to self-regulate. Finally, I suggest lessons that can be drawn from this analysis and present the basic structure of an approach to the regulation of inchoate technologies.



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