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Evaluating the benefits and costs of regulatory reforms: What questions need to be asked?


  • Shapiro, Stuart


In 1984, Portney argued that "[w]e should scrutinize proposed reforms of the rulemaking process every bit as carefully as the regulations that process produces." In the 23 years since then, the regulatory process on the federal level has been continuously reformed by statute, by executive order, and by directives from the OMB. Despite the extensive debate on the need for these reforms, there has been very little analysis of the reforms themselves. This paper updates Portney's work on analyzing cost-benefit analysis and expands it to evaluate reforms of the regulatory process. I use as my primary example the recent peer-review guidelines issued by OMB. I argue that we may have reached a point of diminishing returns in regulatory reforms, that the peer-review guidelines likely have costs that exceed their benefits, and that further regulatory reforms merit closer evaluation.

Suggested Citation

  • Shapiro, Stuart, 2008. "Evaluating the benefits and costs of regulatory reforms: What questions need to be asked?," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 223-230, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:epplan:v:31:y:2008:i:3:p:223-230

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sunstein,Cass R., 2004. "Risk and Reason," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521016254, April.
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