Bootleggers, Baptists, and political entrepreneurs key players in the rational game and morality play of regulatory politics

Randy T. Simmons, Ryan M. Yonk, Diana W. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-381
Number of pages15
JournalIndependent Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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