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One of the central issues in recent regulatory reform debates has been the question of whether government regulation should be undertaken at centralized or more decentralized levels. In the United States, 'new federalists' argue for a broad return of regulatory authority to the states and even to the local governments. Newt Gingrich argues: 'We must replace our centralized, micromanaged, Washington-based bureaucracy with a dramatically decentralized system more appropriate to a continent-wide country ... closer is better should be the rule of thumb." A number of academics have joined this debate with scholarly arguments to support the call for decentralized governance processes. Ricky Revesz, for example, suggests that not only does geographic diversity argue for decentralized regulatory approaches, but that a set of horizontally arrayed jurisdictions competing in the regulatory realm - creating, in effect, a market in 'locational rights' - will produce enhanced social welfare.

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