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  1. Public Commenting on Federal Agency Regulations: Research on Current Practices and Recommendations to the Administrative Conference of the United States [Download]

    Title: Public Commenting on Federal Agency Regulations: Research on Current Practices and Recommendations to the Administrative Conference of the United States
    Author: Balla, Steven
    Description: This report, commissioned by the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), investigates agency practices in soliciting, circulating, and responding to public comments during the federal rulemaking process. Specifically, the report develops recommendations regarding the following aspects of the public commenting: 1. Should there be a required, or at least recommended, minimum length for a comment period? 2. Should agencies immediately make comments publicly available? Should they permit a “reply comment” period? 3. Must agencies reply to all comments, even if they take no further action on a rule for years? Do comments eventually become sufficiently “stale” that they could not support a final rule without further comment? 4. Under what circumstances should an agency be permitted to keep comments confidential and/or anonymous? 5. What effects do comments actually have on agency rules? The report considers three sources of information as the bases for developing recommendations in these areas of public commenting.
    Keywords: Regulation, Working Paper, Public Interest, Public Policy , Regulatory Studies
    Date Uploaded: 12/14/2017
  2. Regulation, Jobs, and Economic Growth: An Empirical Analysis [Download]

    Title: Regulation, Jobs, and Economic Growth: An Empirical Analysis
    Author: Sinclair, Tara M.
    Description: Claims about government regulation and its detrimental effects on job creation and economic growth are currently receiving substantial attention in the public sphere. Yet, conclusive evidence demonstrating this link between regulatory activity and macroeconomic indicators remains elusive. This paper seeks to empirically examine these linkages, using the onbudget costs of regulation over time as a proxy for federal regulatory activity. Our analysis finds that the macroeconomic effects of regulatory agency budgets as a whole as well as of subcategories of regulatory spending are indistinguishable from no effect based on the data and statistical methods available. This finding is generally robust throughout our sensitivity analysis. We explore possible explanations for this finding, as well as why our results differ from other studies on the same subject. This report highlights throughout the numerous challenges associated with both accurately measuring regulatory activity and obtaining valid estimates of its effects on the macroeconomy. It also offers recommendations moving forward on how to keep the public conversation about regulation constructive and evidence-based.
    Keywords: Regulation , Working Paper, Public Interest, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies, Job Growth, Economic Growth
    Date Uploaded: 12/14/2017
  3. Determining the Proper Scope of Climate Change Benefits [Download]

    Title: Determining the Proper Scope of Climate Change Benefits
    Author: Gayer, Ted
    Description: Although benefit assessment principles are well established for defined populations, there has been very little attention to how one defines the scope of the pertinent population for the assessment. Whose social welfare matters and whose benefits should be included in the assessment? Should there be any linkage between the benefits and the political jurisdiction whose citizens are paying for the policy? For national regulatory policies, the norm has been to assess benefits to U.S. citizens. This article reviews the norms for the scope of benefit assessment base on executive orders and the laws governing risk and environmental regulations.
    Keywords: Regulation, Working Paper, Public Interest, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies, Environment, Climate Change
    Date Uploaded: 12/14/2017
  4. Bank Disclosure and Incentives [Download]

    Title: Bank Disclosure and Incentives
    Author: Ray, Korok
    Description: In this working paper, Korok Ray proposes a microeconomic model of a bank that acts as a financial intermediary engaging in maturity transformation, borrowing short-term debt from a market of investors to fund a long term loan to a firm. The bank installs a manager who exerts costly effort to reduce the credit risk of the loan portfolio. Disclosing this credit risk to the market increases the manager’s incentives for risk management. The market rewards the manager’s early efforts to manage risk with a lower future cost of debt. When paid on bank equity, the manager is induced to better manage risk. Disclosure therefore helps resolve the moral hazard problem inside banks.
    Keywords: Regulation , Working Paper, Public Interest, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies, Banking
    Date Uploaded: 12/14/2017
  5. Improving Regulatory Accountability: Lessons from the Past and Prospects for the Future [Download]

    Title: Improving Regulatory Accountability: Lessons from the Past and Prospects for the Future
    Author: Dudley, Susan E.
    Description: This article examines efforts by the three branches of federal government to oversee regulatory policy and procedures. It begins with a review of efforts over the last century to establish appropriate checks and balances on regulations issued by the executive branch, and then evaluates current regulatory reforms that would hold the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch more accountable for regulations and their outcomes.
    Keywords: Regulation , Working Paper, Public Interest, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy
    Date Uploaded: 12/14/2017
  6. Notice & Comment: How Agencies Use Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemaking [Download]

    Title: Notice & Comment: How Agencies Use Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemaking
    Author: Arumugam, Saayee
    Description: On June 4, 2015, Susan E. Dudley appeared before a Roundtable Discussion of the Senate Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management and gave testimony on practical solutions for improving the federal regulatory process. During the discussion, members of the subcommittee mentioned the possibility of using advance notices of proposed rulemaking (ANPRMs) to improve public participation in the rulemaking process. For example, Congress is considering legislation that would require ANPRMs for all major regulations and rules that raise novel legal and policy issues. The Administrative Procedure Act does not require, or even mention, ANPRMs. ANPRMs are different from proposed rules in that they don’t typically present a particular policy proposal on which the public can comment. Instead, they might seek comments from the public on more general topics, such as what type of information hydraulic fracturing operations should report or how to subject grocery stores to implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. These ANPRMs are intended to gather data or perspectives from the public before the agency has settled on a specific policy solution or group of specific policy solutions.
    Keywords: Regulation, Working Paper, Public Interest, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy
    Date Uploaded: 12/14/2017
  7. Whose Benefits Are They, Anyway? Examining the Benefits of Energy Efficiency Rules 2007 - 2014 [Download]

    Title: Whose Benefits Are They, Anyway? Examining the Benefits of Energy Efficiency Rules 2007 - 2014
    Author: Miller, Sofie E.
    Description: The Energy Policy and Conservation Act authorizes the Department of Energy (DOE) to establish energy efficiency standards for consumer appliances that are both technologically feasible and economically justified, while also resulting in a “significant conservation of energy.” To justify its regulations, DOE relies almost entirely on two specific types of regulatory benefits: the cost savings consumers are estimated to enjoy over the life of a more energy efficient appliance, and international benefits associated with reducing the impacts of climate change. To explore these benefits, this paper first examines the composition of benefits from energy efficiency regulations as reported by the Department of Energy over the past 10 years. It then examines arguments for and against inclusion of these benefits in regulatory impact analysis, including whether attributing large private benefits to energy efficiency rules is consistent with standard economic assumptions of consumer sovereignty, and the appropriateness of including international benefits in domestic rulemakings.
    Keywords: Regulation, Working Paper, Energy Efficiency, Public Interest, Public Policy , Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy
    Date Uploaded: 12/14/2017
  8. Learning from Experience: Retrospective Review of Regulations in 2014 [Download]

    Title: Learning from Experience: Retrospective Review of Regulations in 2014
    Author: Miller, Sofie E.
    Description: Through a series of Executive Orders, President Obama has encouraged federal regulatory agencies to review existing regulations “that may be outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome, and to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal them in accordance with what has been learned.” Evaluating whether the intended outcomes of regulations are met ex post can be challenging, so multiple government guidelines instruct agencies to incorporate retrospective review plans into their proposals during the rulemaking process. To support this effort, the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center examined significant regulations proposed in 2014 to assess whether they included plans for retrospective review, and provided recommendations for how best to do so. This paper finds that, despite these guidelines, agencies are not planning prospectively for ex post analysis of their rules and provides agencies with three recommendations to facilitate transparency, public accountability, and measurement of their rules’ success.
    Keywords: Regulation, Working Paper, Public Interest, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy
    Date Uploaded: 12/14/2017
  9. Consumer’s Guide to Regulatory Impact Analysis: Ten Tips for Being an Informed Policymaker [Download]

    Title: Consumer’s Guide to Regulatory Impact Analysis: Ten Tips for Being an Informed Policymaker
    Author: Dudley, Susan
    Description: Regulatory impact analysis (RIA) weighs the benefits of regulatory proposals against the burdens they impose. Even regulatory policies that are ultimately decided on political, legal, ethical, or other grounds will benefit from the structured evaluation of tradeoffs and alternatives that a good RIA provides. Although RIAs are a core feature of regulatory practice in the United States and other countries (OECD, 2016) there is increasing concern that they are “used to justify decisions already made, rather than to inform those decisions” (Carrigan & Shapiro, 2016). RIAs often serve as legal documents, running hundreds or even thousands of pages, prepared by agencies in a defensive posture in anticipation of litigation. Observers argue that RIAs “often omit consideration of meaningful alternatives and are so detailed that they are practically indecipherable” (Carrigan & Shapiro, 2016). U.S. regulatory agencies develop RIAs before issuing significant new regulations, and non-governmental interests may also present their own analyses of how different policies will affect outcomes. Dense or complex RIAs can be challenging for policy officials and interested parties to comprehend and interpret, making it difficult to distinguish facts from conjecture and to understand the likely consequences of alternative policy choices (Ellig & Abdukadirov, 2015). While numerous technical guidelines exist to aid development of RIAs (OMB, 2003; OMB 2010; OECD, 2008), none is geared toward non-specialist policymakers and interested stakeholders who will be reading RIAs as consumers. This guide attempts to fill that gap. It first reviews the purpose of RIA, and then offers policy makers and other consumers of RIAs 10 tips for asking informed questions when reviewing and interpreting them.
    Keywords: Regulation , Consumer Rights , Economic Analysis , Public Interest, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies , Regulatory Policy
    Date Uploaded: 12/05/2017
  10. The Next Regulatory Czar [Download]

    Title: The Next Regulatory Czar
    Author: Dudley, Susan E.
    Description: To accomplish his promised overhaul of the U.S. regulatory system, President Trump will need the help of a small office that most people outside of Washington have never heard of. The Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs (OIRA, pronounced Oh-Eye-Ruh), established in 1980, oversees the regulatory, information collection, and statistical activities of federal executive branch agencies. Like its budget counterparts in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), it provides the president with a tool to check agencies’ natural proclivity to want more (whether it’s more budget resources or more regulatory authority). As President Trump prepares to announce his nominee to be OIRA administrator, this Regulatory Insight provides an inside look at the functions of this important office, its origins and procedures, and why some (including this author) say the job of OIRA administrator is the best job in Washington.
    Keywords: Regulation, Working Paper, Politics, Public Interest, Public Policy, Regulatory Studies, Regulatory Policy
    Date Uploaded: 12/05/2017