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An Analysis of the Third Government Report on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations

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  • Hahn, Robert W.
  • Litan, Robert E.

Abstract

This paper critically reviews the draft of the Office of Management and Budget's third report on the benefits and costs of federal regulation. The purpose of this analysis is to offer constructive recommendations for improving that report. We conclude that that report represents a small improvement over the second report. There is, however, room for even more progress. We suggest that OMB make greater use of its in-house expertise to refine estimates of benefits and costs and that it place greater emphasis on those regulations that do not pass a benefit-cost test based on numbers provided by agencies themselves. Using agency numbers reported by OMB, we calculate that about ten recent regulations would not pass a strict benefit-cost test. The OMB should either suggest eliminating or reforming these regulations or explain why they should be kept in place. We also believe that OMB should assemble a scorecard that would assess and compare the quality of regulations and provide guidance on standardizing the content and summary of regulatory analyses. Such changes in presentation would make it easier for interested parties to understand the impacts of regulations and to determine agency compliance with legislation, executive orders, and OMB guidelines.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Regulation2point0 in its series Working paper with number 403.

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Date of creation: Feb 2000
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Handle: RePEc:reg:wpaper:403

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Web page: http://regulation2point0.org/

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  1. Cornell, N. & Noll, Roger G. & Weingast, B., . "Safety Regulation," Working Papers 122, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  2. Winston, Clifford, 1993. "Economic Deregulation: Days of Reckoning for Microeconomists," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 1263-89, September.
  3. Arrow, Kenneth J. & Cropper, Maureen L. & Eads, George C. & Hahn, Robert W. & Lave, Lester B. & Noll, Roger G. & Portney, Paul R. & Russell, Milton & Schmalensee, Richard L. & Smith, V. Kerry & Stavin, 1996. "Benefit-Cost Analysis in Environmental, Health, and Safety Regulation: A Statement of Principles," Working paper 615, Regulation2point0.
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Cited by:
  1. Robert Gagné & Paul Lanoie & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Michel Patry, 2001. "Les coûts de la réglementation : une revue de la littérature," Cahiers de recherche 01-04, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.

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