Empirically Informed Regulation
Cass R. Sunstein
Harvard Law School; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)
University of Chicago Law Review, Vol. 78, No. 4, 2011
Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 13-03
In recent years, social scientists have been incorporating empirical findings about human behavior into economic models. These findings offer important insights for thinking about regulation and its likely consequences. They also offer some suggestions about the appropriate design of effective, low-cost, choice-preserving approaches to regulatory problems, including disclosure requirements, default rules, and simplification. A general lesson is that small, inexpensive policy initiatives can have large and highly beneficial effects. In the United States, a large number of recent practices and reforms reflect an appreciation of this lesson. They also reflect an understanding of the need to ensure that regulations have strong empirical foundations, both through careful analysis of costs and benefits in advance and through retrospective review of what works and what does not.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 78
Date posted: August 13, 2012 ; Last revised: February 14, 2013