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Regulatory Complexity and Policy Uncertainty: Headwinds of Our Own Making

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  • Steven J. Davis

Abstract

The U.S. regulatory system has grown increasingly expansive, intrusive and complex in recent decades, its tax system has become ridiculously complicated, and its economic policies have become less predictable. I present several pieces of evidence related to these developments and discuss some of their costs. I then sketch some ideas to arrest or reverse these developments. In this regard, I stress the importance of simplicity in regulatory design, the advantages of policy designs that foster predictable regulatory responses, and the need for new institutions to restrain ineffective, excessively burdensome and capricious regulations.

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  • Steven J. Davis, 2015. "Regulatory Complexity and Policy Uncertainty: Headwinds of Our Own Making," Economics Working Papers 15118, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hoo:wpaper:15118
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    File URL: http://www.hoover.org/sites/default/files/research/docs/15118_-_davis_-_regulatory_complexity_and_policy_uncertainty_-_headwinds_of_our_own_making.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2007. "Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded versus Privately Held Firms," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 107-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Congressional Budget Office, 2013. "The Distribution of Major Tax Expenditures in the Individual Income Tax System," Reports 43768, Congressional Budget Office.
    3. Morris M. Kleiner & Alan B. Krueger, 2013. "Analyzing the Extent and Influence of Occupational Licensing on the Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(S1), pages 173-202.
    4. Pástor, Ľuboš & Veronesi, Pietro, 2013. "Political uncertainty and risk premia," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(3), pages 520-545.
    5. Congressional Budget Office, 2013. "The Distribution of Major Tax Expenditures in the Individual Income Tax System," Reports 43768, Congressional Budget Office.
    6. Scott R. Baker & Nicholas Bloom & Steven J. Davis, 2016. "Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(4), pages 1593-1636.
    7. Congressional Budget Office, 2013. "The Distribution of Major Tax Expenditures in the Individual Income Tax System," Reports 43768, Congressional Budget Office.
    8. Art Fraas & Randall Lutter, 2011. "The Challenges of Improving the Economic Analysis of Pending Regulations: The Experience of OMB Circular A-4," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 71-85, October.
    9. Benjamin Pugsley & Aysegul Sahin & Fatih Karahan, 2015. "Understanding the 30 year Decline in Business Dynamism: a General Equilibrium Approach," 2015 Meeting Papers 1333, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Congressional Budget Office, 2013. "The Distribution of Major Tax Expenditures in the Individual Income Tax System," Reports 43768, Congressional Budget Office.
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    Cited by:

    1. Taylor, John B., 2016. "Slow economic growth as a phase in a policy performance cycle," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 649-655.

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