This paper extends Stigler and Peltzman’s approach to regulation by incorporating a legislature. The model yields comparative statics results and hence testable implications. The paper then tests between two opposing approaches about regulatory agency behavior. The first assumes agencies operate independently of the legislature and hence exercise discretion; the second assumes that Congress controls agency decisions. The recent behavior of the Federal Trade Commission provides the empirical setting. Substantial evidence is found for the specific predictions of the model, including the hypothesis of systematic congressional influence over FTC decisions.
Weingast, B. R., &Moran, M. J. (1983). Bureaucratic discretion or congressional control? Regulatory policymaking by the Federal Trade Commission. Journal of Political Economy, 91(5), 765-800.