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Improving Regulatory Performance: Does Executive Office Oversight Matter?


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  • Farrow, Scott


Executive Office review and oversight of proposed federal regulations have been a bipartisan action of presidents and some governors. Proposals for regulatory improvement regularly highlight the role of benefit-cost analysis in this process. Supporters argue that the purpose of a benefit-cost review is to improve the social (net) benefits of implemented regulations. The evaluation question is whether Executive Office review has actually improved performance. This paper uses information on the status of regulations and their estimated economic impact to determine if Executive Office review has changed the outcome in different Administrations. The study is based on cost-effectiveness data that have had a large role in the debate about regulation and while an extensive critique of the data exists, its issues are addressed. The results indicate that while Executive Office review is associated with rejecting some regulations that would have been economically inefficient, such review appears to have no efficiency improving impact on the difference between proposed and final regulations or on the cost effectiveness of regulations that are implemented.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Regulation2point0 in its series Working paper with number 77.

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Date of creation: Dec 2001
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Handle: RePEc:reg:wpaper:77

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Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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  1. Farrow, Scott, 1991. "Does Analysis Matter? Economics and Planning in the Department of the Interior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 172-76, February.
  2. Toman, Michael & Farrow, Scott, 1998. "Using Environmental Benefit-Cost Analysis to Improve Government Performance," Discussion Papers dp-99-11, Resources For the Future.
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Cited by:
  1. Morrall III, John F., 2003. "Saving Lives: A Review of the Record," Working paper 188, Regulation2point0.
  2. Robert W. Hahn & Paul C. Tetlock, 2008. "Has Economic Analysis Improved Regulatory Decisions?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 67-84, Winter.


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