The Quality and Use of Regulatory Analysis in 2008

40 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2010

See all articles by Jerry Ellig

Jerry Ellig

George Washington University - Regulatory Studies Center

Patrick A. McLaughlin

Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Date Written: July 14, 2010

Abstract

This paper assesses the quality and use of regulatory analysis for economically significant regulations produced by federal agencies in 2008. A nine-member research team used a six-point (0-5) scale to evaluate regulatory analyses according to criteria drawn from Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory Planning and Review, Office of Management and Budget Circular A-4 on Regulatory Analysis, and scholarly research. Principal findings include: (1) The average quality of regulatory analysis, though not high, is somewhat better than previous regulatory scorecards have shown; (2) Quality varies widely; (3) The biggest strengths in the analyses are accessibility and clarity; the biggest weakness is retrospective analysis; (4) Budget or transfer regulations receive much lower-quality analysis than other regulations; (5) A minority of the regulations contain evidence that the agency used the analysis in significant decisions; (6) Quality of analysis is positively correlated with the apparent use of the analysis in regulatory decisions; (7) The analyses contain many examples of - best practices; and (8) Greater diffusion of best practices could significantly improve the overall quality of regulatory analysis.

Keywords: regulatory impact analysis, benefit-cost, regulation, cost-benefit analysis, regulatory process, regulatory reform

JEL Classification: D73, D78, H10

Suggested Citation

Ellig, Jerry and McLaughlin, Patrick A., The Quality and Use of Regulatory Analysis in 2008 (July 14, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1639747 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1639747

Jerry Ellig (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Regulatory Studies Center ( email )

805 21st St. NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States
703-375-9410 (Phone)

Patrick A. McLaughlin

Mercatus Center at George Mason University ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
(703) 993-9670 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.patrickamclaughlin.com

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