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  1. Regulatory Reforms to Enhance Competition: Recommendations for Implementing Executive Order 13725 [Download]

    Title: Regulatory Reforms to Enhance Competition: Recommendations for Implementing Executive Order 13725
    Author: Miller, Sofie E.
    Description: Since the formation of the U.S. federal regulatory system, regulations have had a significant influence on marketplace competition. Regulations often seek to improve competition by restraining monopolies; others tend to reduce competition by establishing one-size-fits-all standards for consumer products or acting as nontariff barriers limiting competition from foreign trade partners. Recognizing the importance of this relationship, on April 15th President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order instructing federal agencies to identify and address barriers to competition. This Executive Order provides agencies with a valuable opportunity to reevaluate existing rules that create barriers to competition.
    Keywords: Regulation , Working Paper, Politics, Public Policy, Regulatory Policy
    Date Uploaded: 12/12/2017
  2. Improving the Accountability of Federal Regulatory Agencies, Part I: A Review of Government-Wide Efforts [Download]

    Title: Improving the Accountability of Federal Regulatory Agencies, Part I: A Review of Government-Wide Efforts
    Author: Peacock, Marcus
    Description: Policymakers in the United States show persistent interest in improving the accountability of federal regulatory agencies. Before mandating further requirements, Congress and the President should (1) identify government-wide accountability initiatives that were already attempted at regulatory agencies and (2) assess the outcome of those efforts. The relative success or failure of these efforts could help guide the design and implementation of future regulatory reforms. This Regulatory Insight is the first in a series of 3 on this topic. It fulfills the first of these tasks by identifying eight major government-wide accountability initiatives in the United States that were also implemented at regulatory agencies.
    Keywords: Regulation, Working Paper , Politics, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy
    Date Uploaded: 12/12/2017
  3. Improving the Accountability of Federal Regulatory Agencies: Part II: Assessing Eight Government-wide Accountability Reforms [Download]

    Title: Improving the Accountability of Federal Regulatory Agencies: Part II: Assessing Eight Government-wide Accountability Reforms
    Author: Peacock, Marcus
    Description: Greater accountability at regulatory agencies is desirable because (1) the public has a right to know how government affects society and (2) greater accountability improves agency performance. As described in the previous Insight in this series, the United States attempted eight major government-wide initiatives to increase accountability at federal agencies, including regulatory agencies. This Insight reviews public and expert opinion, which indicate these initiatives failed to improve accountability. New proposals to improve accountability at regulatory agencies could benefit from understanding why previous efforts fell short. The next Insight in this series will examine what lessons we can learn from the failure of these eight initiatives.
    Keywords: Regulation, Working Paper, Politics, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy, Accountability
    Date Uploaded: 12/12/2017
  4. Structure vs. Process: Examining the Interaction between Bureaucratic Organization and Analytical Requirements [Download]

    Title: Structure vs. Process: Examining the Interaction between Bureaucratic Organization and Analytical Requirements
    Author: Shapiro, Stuart
    Description: Attempts by politicians to control bureaucratic decisions include both structural (how is the agency making the decision organized) and procedural (what rules must they follow when making the decision). But how do these procedures interact? This article examines the interaction between bureaucratic structure and one procedural control, the requirement that agencies conduct an analysis of their decisions prior to their issuance. I look at this interaction in the context of two types of analysis, cost-benefit analysis and environmental impact assessment. I interview 16 individuals in each field and draw from their experiences. The conduct of analysis is affected by where analysts are placed in agencies. In particular independence of analysts has a tradeoff. The more independent analysts are, the more likely they can challenge preferred decisions in their agency. But independent analysts are brought into decisions later and may have limited long term impacts on agency culture. Despite this tradeoff, analysts expressed a clear preference for independence. The interaction between different controls of bureaucratic behavior is a potentially fruitful line for further research.
    Keywords: Regulation, Working Paper, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Environmental Impact Assessment, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy
    Date Uploaded: 12/12/2017
  5. Evaluation at EPA: Determinants of the Environmental Protection Agency's Capacity to Supply Program Evaluation [Download]

    Title: Evaluation at EPA: Determinants of the Environmental Protection Agency's Capacity to Supply Program Evaluation
    Author: Hart, Nick
    Description: Since the inception of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), considerable emphasis has been placed on the use of prospective policy analysis tools that aim to inform environmental decisions, including cost-benefit analysis and risk assessment. However, compared to the prevalence of ex ante analysis at the EPA to inform decisions, relatively little evaluation of these same environmental policies is conducted after implementation, to inform future policy development or to modify existing policies. This research considered processes and determinants that affect evaluation supply at the EPA. The research relied on archival documents, semi-structured interviews, and case studies of EPA’s ambient air, hazardous waste, and performance partnership programs. Ten key factors were identified across the three case studies that constituted both barriers to and facilitators of evaluation. This research concludes that evaluation has much to offer EPA decision-makers, and efforts to improve evaluation capacity will present organizational learning opportunities that can further support the agency's evidence-building practices, specifically improving the application and use of program evaluation at EPA.
    Keywords: Regulation, Working Paper , Environmental Policy, Public Policy , Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy
    Date Uploaded: 12/12/2017
  6. Improving the Accountability of Federal Regulatory Agencies, Part III: What Reforms Work Best [Download]

    Title: Improving the Accountability of Federal Regulatory Agencies, Part III: What Reforms Work Best
    Author: Peacock, Marcus
    Description: Eight major U.S. government reform initiatives failed to significantly improve the accountability of federal agencies. This third of a three-part series identifies (1) lack of sustained leadership and (2) unfaithful execution by agencies as two reasons for these failures. The problem of inadequate leadership could be addressed by adopting more modest reforms (incrementalism) and/or codifying the reform(s) into law. The obstacle of unfaithful execution could be overcome by creating or engaging an objective third party to implement or enforce implementation of the reform and/or creating competition among agencies that provides incentives for embracing reform. Using these lessons, three characteristics of regulatory reforms that will work are identified: codification in law; creation of an independent organization to help execute the law; and establishing a framework for interagency competition.
    Keywords: Regulation, Working Paper, Accountability, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy
    Date Uploaded: 12/12/2017
  7. How Declining Budgets at U.S. Regulatory Agencies Could Improve Performance [Download]

    Title: How Declining Budgets at U.S. Regulatory Agencies Could Improve Performance
    Author: Peacock, Marcus
    Description: Although spending on U.S. regulatory programs has doubled in the last 20 years, that trend is unlikely to last. How these programs manage budget cuts will determine whether downsizing harms or helps regulatory performance. Leaders of regulatory agencies must avoid satisfying tighter budgets with temporary “mindless austerity” measures that anger workers. Instead managers should use scarcity to find, with workers, “frugal innovations” that can significantly and permanently improve program value.
    Keywords: Regulation , Working Paper, Economic Analysis, Politics, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy
    Date Uploaded: 12/05/2017
  8. Utilizing Behavioral Insights (without Romance): An Inquiry into the Choice Architecture of Public Decision-Making [Download]

    Title: Utilizing Behavioral Insights (without Romance): An Inquiry into the Choice Architecture of Public Decision-Making
    Author: Smith, Adam C.
    Description: Behavioral economics has been employed in a number of policy applications over the last decade. From energy requirements to tax compliance to consumer finance, policymakers are increasingly operating under the assumption that people consistently fail to make rational choices. While the benefit of this policy trend remains an open debate, behavioral economists have long neglected a complementary examination of public decision-makers themselves. By comparing two public agencies influenced by behavioral economics, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and U.K. Behavioral Insights Team, I show how different institutions create divergent policy outcomes across the two agencies in a way that cannot be accounted for without incorporating public choice theory. I argue that improvement of private choice architecture must be accompanied by careful understanding of the public choice architecture in which policies are rendered if behavioral economics is to be a successful foundation for welfare-improving policies.
    Keywords: Regulation , Working Paper, Behavioral Economics, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy, Psychology
    Date Uploaded: 12/05/2017
  9. Congressional Review Act Fact Sheet [Download]

    Title: Congressional Review Act Fact Sheet
    Author: Pérez, Daniel R.
    Description: Congress enacted the Congressional Review Act (CRA) on March 29, 1996 as part of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) in an effort to increase its oversight of federal agency rulemaking. The CRA includes several parliamentary mechanisms, explained below, that enable Congress to disapprove a final rule issued by a federal agency.
    Keywords: Regulation , Working Paper, Politics, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy
    Date Uploaded: 12/05/2017
  10. Implementing a Two-for-One Regulatory Requirement in the U.S. [Download]

    Title: Implementing a Two-for-One Regulatory Requirement in the U.S.
    Author: Peacock, Marcus
    Description: President-elect Trump committed to “a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations need to be eliminated” or what could be called a “two-for-one” requirement. The implementation of such a regulatory “pay as you go” process raises a number of issues including: what constitutes a “new regulation”; how offsets should be measured; estimating and managing additional analytic and administrative workload; enforcement; and how to increase the likelihood such a policy survives the next presidential transition. This working paper presents the advantages and disadvantages of various options for implementing a two-for-one policy, and also discusses the role of regulatory benefits estimates in such a system.
    Keywords: Regulation , Working Paper, Politics, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy
    Date Uploaded: 12/05/2017