Executive Order (EO) 13771 on “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” introduces a new regulatory budgeting system in the U.S. federal rulemaking process. International experience suggests that the new rule, aimed both at reducing the number of regulations and the volume of regulatory costs, will focus on a subset of regulatory impacts, most certainly the direct costs imposed by regulation on businesses, or even a subset thereof. The paper discusses possible ways to make sense of the new rule, without undermining the soundness of benefit-cost analysis mandated by EO12866. The paper concludes that the new system, while potentially promoting more retrospective regulatory reviews, will risk fundamentally affecting the quality of regulation in the United States, generating frictions and inefficiencies throughout the administration, to the detriment of social welfare.
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