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Administrative Procedures and Bureaucratic Performance: Is Federal Rulemaking 'Ossified'?

36 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2009  

Jason W. Yackee

University of Wisconsin Law School

Susan Webb Yackee

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Political Science; University of Wisconsin - Madison - La Follette School of Public Affairs

Date Written: April 1, 2009

Abstract

We provide the first empirical assessment of the ossification thesis, the widely accepted notion that procedural constraints on federal agencies have greatly hindered the ability of those agencies to formulate policy through notice and comment rulemaking. Using data that covers all active federal rule-writing agencies from 1983 to 2006, our results largely disconfirm the ossification thesis. Agencies appear readily able to issue a sizeable number of rules, and to do so relatively quickly. Indeed, our empirical results suggest that procedural constraints may actually speed up the promulgation of rules, though our model suggests that this positive effect may decline, or even reverse, as proposed rules age. We conclude that procedural constraints do not appear to unduly interfere with the ability of federal agencies to act, or in most cases, to act in a timely manner.

Suggested Citation

Yackee, Jason W. and Yackee, Susan Webb, Administrative Procedures and Bureaucratic Performance: Is Federal Rulemaking 'Ossified'? (April 1, 2009). Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1079. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1371588 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1371588

Jason W. Yackee (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin Law School ( email )

975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States

Susan Webb Yackee

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Political Science ( email )

1050 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States

University of Wisconsin - Madison - La Follette School of Public Affairs ( email )

1225 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53705
United States

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