Setting the Regulatory Agenda: Statutory Deadlines, Delay and Responsiveness

Forthcoming, Public Administration Review

52 Pages Posted: 6 May 2019 Last revised: 21 Jun 2019

See all articles by Anthony M. Bertelli

Anthony M. Bertelli

Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics; Pennsylvania State University

Kathleen Doherty

University of Southern California

Date Written: April 19, 2019

Abstract

Congress imposes statutory deadlines in an attempt influence agency regulatory agendas, though agencies regularly fail to meet these deadlines. Non-compliance can take the form of delay, and at the extreme, non-promulgation of mandated regulations. What political and administrative conditions shape the timing of rules subject to statutory deadlines and how do they do so? We consider compliance from the agency’s perspective, as a management problem of optimizing the regulatory agenda subject to two constraints: the political feasibility of rulemaking and the capacity of agencies. We further argue that public managers consider how delay maps into what we distinguish as political and administrative time. We test our theory on all unique rules with statutory deadlines published in the Unified Agenda between 1995-2012. Our argument and findings about the timing and ultimate promulgation of rules have implications that reorient studies of the regulatory agenda from legal and political into more managerial terms.

Keywords: statutory deadlines, regulation, compliance, regulatory timing

JEL Classification: K23

Suggested Citation

Bertelli, Anthony M. and Doherty, Kathleen, Setting the Regulatory Agenda: Statutory Deadlines, Delay and Responsiveness (April 19, 2019). Forthcoming, Public Administration Review. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3374796

Anthony M. Bertelli (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - DONDENA - Carlo F. Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

University Park, PA 16802-3306
United States

HOME PAGE: http://tonybertelli.com

Kathleen Doherty

University of Southern California ( email )

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

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