Regulatory Bundling

72 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2018 Last revised: 31 Mar 2019

See all articles by Jennifer Nou

Jennifer Nou

University of Chicago - Law School

Edward Stiglitz

Cornell University - Law School

Date Written: August 15, 2018


Regulatory bundling is the ability of administrative agencies to aggregate and disaggregate rules. Agencies, in other words, can bundle what would otherwise be multiple rules into just one. Conversely, they can split one rule into several. This observation parallels other recent work on how agencies can aggregate adjudications and enforcement actions, but now focuses on the most consequential form of agency action: legislative rules. The topic is timely in light of a recent executive order directing agencies to repeal two regulations for every new one promulgated. Agencies now have a greater incentive to pack regulatory provisions together for every two rules they can repeal.

This Article explores the positive determinants and normative implications of regulatory bundling. The empirical analysis reveals that agencies have been increasingly engaging in regulatory bundling for the last two decades. More generally, bundling behavior varies widely across different administrative agencies, and agencies appear to include more subjects in their final—as opposed to proposed—rules. These findings, in turn, raise significant normative concerns that could be addressed through a suite of tools novel to the administrative state: single-subject rules, line-item vetoes, and innovative uses of more traditional doctrines of judicial review. Whether some of these tools should be adopted, however, requires further empirical assessment of regulatory bundling’s causes and consequences.

Keywords: rulemaking, Federal Register Thesaurus, line-Item veto, single-subject rule, omnibus

JEL Classification: K23, H11

Suggested Citation

Nou, Jennifer and Stiglitz, Edward, Regulatory Bundling (August 15, 2018). 128 Yale Law Journal 1174 (2019), University of Chicago Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics Research Paper No. 857, U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 682, Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 18-47, Available at SSRN: or

Jennifer Nou (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://

Edward Stiglitz

Cornell University - Law School ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

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