Posted: 26 Apr 2010
Date Written: April 2010
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 rule-making. Using data that cover 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: Suggested Citation
Yackee, Jason Webb and Yackee, Susan Webb, Administrative Procedures and Bureaucratic Performance: Is Federal Rule-Making 'Ossified'? (April 2010). Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Vol. 20, Issue 2, pp. 261-282, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1594608 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jopart/mup011