Regulatory Impact Analysis in the US: Low Quality, Rare Use

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A research team from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University has assessed the quality and use of regulatory analysis accompanying every economically significant, prescriptive regulation proposed by executive branch regulatory agencies between 2008 and 2012 in the United States.

The team found that, while it varied widely, the quality of regulatory analysis was generally low and did not alter much with the change of administrations. To make matters worse, agencies often fail to provide any evidence that regulatory analysis, however imperfect, informed their decisions.

The PDF publication can be downloaded here.

In a previous publication the Mercatus center highlighted the need for stronger enforcement mechanisms. A statutory requirement for regulatory impact analysis would help ensure that regulatory decisions are made based on genuine knowledge of regulation’s likely effects.

(Fabrizio Di Mascio)