Lauren Edelman’s "Working Law" is remarkably relevant to the study of financial regulation. In particular, three factors that Edelman identifies as contributing to legal endogeneity and symbolic compliance – ambiguous law, a lack of clear outcome measures, and the presence of legal intermediaries – are especially salient in this context. It has long been recognized that powerful financial institutions and the lawyers, lobbyists, and other agents who serve them have the ability to influence the law ex ante, through political lobbying. Edelman’s work reinforces the point that they may also do so ex post through an endogenous process of interpretation, implementation, and, ultimately, enshrinement of symbolic compliance with ambiguous law. 




Kimberly D. Krawiec, Let’s Talk: What FinReg Can Learn From New Governance (And Vice Versa), 44 Law & Social Inquiry, 1241–1250 (2019).