Tweets

Recent Research

Susan Dudley

 

 

Recommendations to DOE on Reducing Regulatory Burden , Sofie E. Miller , July 17, 2014

Retrospective Review Comment on the Department of Education’s Proposed Violence Against Women Act Rule, Julia Morriss, Summer Fellow, July 17, 2014

Retrospective Review Comment on EPA's Proposed Agricultural Worker Protection Standards for Pesticides, Connor Roth, Summer Fellow, July 14, 2014

2015 Regulators' Budget: Economic Forms of Regulation on the Rise, Susan Dudley & Melinda Warren, July 2014

Retrospective Review Comment on FDA's Proposed e-Cigarette , Estelle Raimondo, July 7, 2014

Retrospective Review Comment on the Federal Reserve Board's Proposed Concentration Limits on Large Financial Companies, Julia Morriss, July 2, 2014

Retrospective Review Comment on SEC's Proposed Reporting Requirements for Swap Dealers, Participants, and Broker Dealers ,Mark Bigley, July 1, 2014

Retrospective Review Comment on DOE's Proposed Energy Efficiency Standards for Fluorescent and Incandescent Lamps, Sofie E. Miller, June 30, 2014

Retrospective Review Comment on FDA's Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food, Philip J. Austin, June 16, 2014

Retrospective Review Comment on the Proposed Rule: Minimum Requirements for Appraisal Management Companies under the Dodd-Frank Act, Ian Smith, June 9, 2014

Determining the Proper Scope of Climate Change Benefits, Ted Gayer & Kip Viscusi, June 4, 2014

Retrospective Review Comment on the Department of Education's Proposed Rule: Program Integrity: Gainful Employment Cassidy B. West, May 27, 2014

Retrospective Review Comment on DOE's Proposed Efficiency Standards for Commercial Ice Makers, Sofie E. Miller, May 16, 2014

Retrospective Review Comment on the FMCSA's Proposed Rule: Electronic Logging Devices and Hours of Service Supporting Documents, Susan E. Dudley, May 15, 2014

About the Regulatory Studies Center

Susan Dudley with Kathryn Newcomer

The GW Regulatory Studies Center's mission is to improve regulatory policy by raising awareness of regulations’ effects through research, education, and outreach.

The Center is a leading source for applied scholarship in regulatory issues, and a training ground for anyone who wants to understand the effects of regulation and ensure that regulatory policies are designed in the public interest.

How to Improve Retrospective Review and Reduce Regulatory Burdens

Dept. of Energy
July 18, 2014
By Sofie Miller, Senior Policy Analyst

Through its Regulatory Burden Request for Information (RFI), DOE is seeking comment from the public on how to effectively review its existing regulations, pursuant to Executive Order 13563. In response to this RFI, we filed a comment offering three recommendations to DOE to further its retrospective review efforts.First, DOE should incorporate plans for retrospective review into its economically significant or major rules. Second, DOE should allow enough time between its energy efficiency standards to allow for an effective review of each rule’s effects before issuing updated rules. Third, DOE should use the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index to measure whether its existing energy efficiency standards have had negative effects on competition in the regulated industries.

Publication

Recommendations to DOE on Reducing Regulatory Burden

Department of Energy sign
July 17, 2014
By Sofie E. Miller, Senior Policy Analyst

Through its Regulatory Burden Request for Information (RFI), DOE is seeking comment from the public on how to effectively review its existing regulations, pursuant to Executive Order 13563. So far this year, only one of DOE’s proposed rules has mentioned retrospective review, and none of DOE’s proposals incorporated retrospective review plans. Going forward, DOE should incorporate plans for retrospective review into its major rules to facilitate transparency, public accountability, and measurement of the success of its rules. Additionally, DOE should review the efficacy of its existing energy efficiency standards before making a determination that further standards are necessary. After conducting review, DOE should incorporate any lessons learned or unintended consequences into its future standards, both to improve ex ante analysis and to improve rulemaking outcomes. Finally, these retrospective reviews should include application of the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index to measure any potentially anti-competitive effects, especially energy efficiency standards that DOJ has determined would have anti-competitive effects on the regulated industries.

Publication

Retrospective Review Comment on the Department of Education’s Proposed Violence Against Women Act Rule

Department of Education sign
July 17, 2014
By Julia Morriss, Summer Fellow

The Department of Education's proposed rule addresses important issues that deserve recognition: increasing safety on college campuses and reducing sexual assault. Implicit in the rule is that increased reporting of crime statistics, better definitions, and improved and transparent disciplinary processes will lead to more informed members of university communities and ultimately reduce campus crimes. However, ED has not adequately explained the causal linkages between its requirements and these outcomes. The proposed rule does not mention how it would address the problems of previous standards and provide better measures to prevent similar issues. ED should make clear the linkages between its proposed standards and the intended outcomes, and should commit to measuring the success of its rule after implementation. Addressing sexual assault on campus is an important concern and a failure to adequately provide measures or to monitor success or failure of programs prevents the rule from reaching its stated goals.

Publication

2015 Regulators' Budget: Economic Forms of Regulation on the Rise

Regulators' Budget Report cover
July 09, 2014
By Susan E. Dudley & Melinda Warren

Regulatory spending—especially on economic forms of regulation—is on the rise for fiscal years 2014 and 2015, according to the latest Regulators’ Budget report of the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center and the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government and Public Policy at Washington University in St. Louis. While growth in spending and staffing at agencies constrained by the Congressional appropriations process are relatively flat, agencies that charge fees on the entities they regulate are growing more quickly. For example, while the Environmental Protection Agency’s outlays shrank by almost 4 percent in 2014, the Food and Drug Administration’s budget grew by more than 29 percent. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s spending increased 33 percent this year, and outlays of both the Patent and Trademark Office and Securities and Exchange Commission grew by over 10 percent.

Publication

Retrospective Review Comment on EPA's Proposed Agricultural Worker Protection Standards for Pesticides

Pesticide spray
July 14, 2014
By Connor Roth, Summer Fellow

The proposed rule would revise existing worker protection regulations for pesticide use. The proposal outlines multiple revisions to the Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides (WPS) designed to strengthen safeguards for agricultural workers and handlers. The main goal of the proposed rule is to address an information asymmetry: workers who do not know the potential harms of working with pesticides are especially vulnerable to negative outcomes. However, EPA expects to mitigate reported acute WPS pesticide incidents but does not demonstrate how it will evaluate future outcomes, re-examine its break-even analysis, or consider the proposed rule’s impact on other measures. Both for the development of effective public policy and for measuring the impacts of the regulation once it is issued, EPA should more explicitly articulate the causal nexus between the problems it has identified, implementation of its proposed solutions, reduced pesticide exposure among the target population, and these ultimate public health outcomes. Particular attention should be paid to consistently distinguishing between the rule, its implementation, its direct outputs, and the medium to long-term intended outcomes. EPA should evaluate the effectiveness of its approach by clearing stating what assumptions need to be verified for the causal logic to produce a specific outcome.

Publication

Thank You for Not Smoking (e-Cigarettes)

No smoking sign
July 08, 2014
By Estelle Raimondo, Ph.D Candidate in Public Policy and Evaluation Research

The Food and Drug Administration's proposed a rule would deem e-cigarettes (and possibly cigars) to be subject to tobacco product requirements such as ingredient listing, pre-market clearance, free sampling prohibition, minimum age requirement, and limit on sales by vending machines, as well as required health and addiction warning statements. The rule is intended to improve health outcomes by reducing the number of youths and young adults who are exposed to e-cigarettes and cigars. However, there are limited data on the actual impact of e-cigarettes and cigars on health outcomes and addiction patterns. Naturally, there are many unknowns in the proposal, in particular, a lack of evidence specifically about differentiated public health impacts of various tobacco products and of baseline usage patterns and risks. Given the uncertainty and inherent complexity of a regulation such as this one, it is paramount to ensure that the rule is written in a way that allows ex post feedback on whether intended goals have been reached.

Publication

Retrospective Review Comment on FDA's Proposed e-Cigarette Rule

French sign - cigarette electronique
July 07, 2014
By Estelle Raimondo, Ph.D Candidate in Public Policy and Evaluation Research

Chapter IX of the Food, Drug, Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) currently regulates cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. Through a new proposed rule, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is subjecting e-cigarettes and possibly cigars to the requirements of the FD&C Act. The proposed rule consists of two co-proposals. The first option would subject all “tobacco products” to the FD&C Act, including hookah, cigars, and e-cigarettes. The second co-proposal is similar to option 1, except that it would exclude “premium cigars” from coverage, exempting this class of cigars from statutory restrictions. Naturally, there are many unknowns in the proposal, in particular, a lack of evidence specifically about differentiated public health impacts of various tobacco products and of baseline usage patterns and risks. Therefore, the regulation is amenable to an impact-oriented approach in which causality is inferred from information about the causal chain. FDA should add language to its final rule committing to measure efficacy at two-year increments following implementation of the rule, measured notably as percent reductions in use of the various tobacco products subject to coverage. In regulations attempting to trigger behavior change amongst addicted people, causal processes are bound to be complex. Consequently, the agency should commit to assessing potential unintended consequences of its rule making as an inherent part of the retrospective review’s scope.

Publication

Recent Research: Determining the Proper Scope of Climate Change Benefits

Earth
June 04, 2014
By Ted Gayer and Kip Viscusi

This article reviews the norms for the scope of benefit assessment based on executive orders and the laws governing risk and environmental regulations. Recent assessments of climate change policies have shifted from a domestic to a worldwide benefits approach, leading to a substantial increase in the estimated benefits. In 2010 the Obama Administration's Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Carbon developed the guidelines that provide the basis for the assessment of the benefits associated with reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. Based on the estimates in one integrated assessment model that permitted a U.S. analysis, the estimate of the average U.S. benefit is about 7 to 10 percent of the global benefit. Alternatively, if one does not rely on a direct benefit estimate but assumes that the domestic share of the benefits is proportional to the current U.S. share of the global GDP, then the domestic benefit is 23 percent of the global benefit. This article reviews specific examples of such practices for energy efficiency regulations and the broader benefit assessment guidelines that have been developed for greenhouse gas initiatives, including the CAFE rule for passenger cars and light trucks, the carbon pollution rule for existing power plants, the clothes dryer rule, and the phase out of general service incandescent lamps.

Publication