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Regulatory Process, Regulatory Reform, and the Quality of Regulatory Impact Analysis 1

  • Jerry Ellig (a1) and Rosemarie Fike (a2)

Numerous regulatory reform proposals would require federal agencies to conduct more thorough economic analysis of proposed regulations or expand the resources and influence of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which currently reviews executive branch regulations. Such reforms are intended to improve the quality of economic analysis agencies produce when they issue major regulations. We employ newly gathered data on variation in current administrative procedures to assess the likely effects of proposed regulatory process reforms on the quality of agencies’ regulatory impact analyses (RIAs). Our results suggest that greater use of advance notices of proposed rulemakings for major regulations, advance consultation with regulated entities, use of advisory committees, and expansion of OIRA’s resources and role would improve the quality of RIAs. They also suggest pre-proposal public meetings with stakeholders are associated with lower quality analysis.

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