How Changes in the Federal Register Can Help Improve Regulatory Accountability.

40 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2001

See all articles by Robert W. Hahn

Robert W. Hahn

University of Oxford, Smith School; Georgetown University

Date Written: September 1998


Congress has recently become more receptive to using economic analysis in regulatory decisionmaking. To improve regulation, an important first step is to provide useful information that is accessible to the public and other interested parties. The government is an essential source of that information for many federal regulations. Within the government, a central repository of information on regulation is the Federal Register.

This paper examines how the Federal Register could be used to improve the regulatory process by providing information to interested parties in a "user-friendly" format. Two important conclusions emerge from this analysis. First, Federal Register notices that present regulatory analysis currently exhibit a great deal of variation in the kind of information that is presented. Second, with some key changes in the requirements for including and presenting information, the content of these notices could be improved dramatically. While this analysis focuses on federal regulation in the U.S., the findings and policy recommendations are readily applicable to other jurisdictions dealing with regulatory reform in and outside of the U.S.

Suggested Citation

Hahn, Robert W., How Changes in the Federal Register Can Help Improve Regulatory Accountability. (September 1998). Available at SSRN: or

Robert W. Hahn (Contact Author)

University of Oxford, Smith School ( email )

United Kingdom

Georgetown University

Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy
Washington, DC 20057
United States

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