Books & Reports

Academic books and long-term research projects published by Center scholars that advance the overall knowledge of various aspects of regulatory processes and policies.

Regulation: A Primer

Regulation: A Primer


This primer authored by Susan E. Dudley and Jerry Brito provides an overview of regulation, including theoretical frameworks for understanding regulation, constitutional underpinnings, the process of writing and enforcing different varieties of regulation, and analytical approaches to understanding regulatory effects.

Available for purchase on Amazon, or can be downloaded as a PDF.

This primer is also available in Korean as a PDF.

이 프라이머는 한국어로도 제공됩니다.

Structured to Fail? Regulatory Performance under Competing Mandates

Book cover of Christopher Carrigan's Structured to Fail? Regulatory Performance under Competing Mandates.


By: Christopher Carrigan, Ph.D.

In the search for explanations for three of the most pressing crises of the early twenty-first century (the housing meltdown and financial crisis, the Gulf oil spill, and the nuclear disaster at Fukushima), commentators pointed to the structure of the regulatory agencies charged with overseeing the associated industries, noting that the need to balance competing regulatory and non-regulatory missions undermined each agency's ability to be an effective regulator. Christopher Carrigan challenges this critique by employing a diverse set of research methods, including a statistical analysis, an in-depth case study of US regulatory oversight of offshore oil and gas development leading up to the Gulf oil spill, and a formal theoretical discussion, to systematically evaluate the benefits and concerns associated with either combining or separating regulatory and non-regulatory missions. His analysis demonstrates for policymakers and scholars why assigning competing non-regulatory missions to regulatory agencies can still be better than separating them in some cases.


A photo of a field of wheat with a text box in the foreground that reads The Relationship Between Regulatory Form and Productivity: An Empirical Application to Agriculture

USDA Reports

The GW Regulatory Studies Center's cooperative agreement with the US Department of Agriculture to analyze agricultural regulations.



Image of a person writing Cost Benefit Analysis with a blue marker on a clear window.

Benefit-Cost Analysis & Emerging Technologies

The Hastings Center has published “Benefit-Cost Analysis and Emerging Technologies,” by RSC’s Brian Mannix, as part of a special report funded by the National Science Foundation. The full report explores the governance of newly developed techniques in bioengineering – such as the ability to modify a species in the wild, or render it (a mosquito, for example) extinct. Mannix argues that, properly understood, benefit-cost analysis is an appropriate technique for determining which actions are in the public interest. He also cautions against a “precautionary” approach that would shift the burden onto new technologies to demonstrate safety before they can be used.

Image of the US and EU flags flying next to one another.

Reports on US-EU Regulatory Cooperation

By D. Pérez, S. Dudley, N. Eisner, R. Lutter, D. Zorn, N. Nord, and K. Wegrich

The GW Regulatory Studies Center prepared this report as part of a grant from the European Union to analyze regulatory cooperation between the EU and U.S. The report includes three case studies examining how cooperation has worked in practice between U.S. regulatory agencies and their EU counterparts and an analysis of U.S. regulations likely to have significant effects on international trade and investment. These analyses identify opportunities to reduce incompatible approaches while indicating areas where differences could persist due to issues of national sovereignty and structural differences between countries.

Graphic of a green house next to a scale that has stripes labeled A, B, C, D, E, F, and G, colored green to red.

One Standard to Rule Them All: The Disparate Impact of Energy Efficiency Regulations

Chapter by Sofie E. Miller and Brian F. Mannix
Federal regulations restrict the energy that everyday products can use, for everything from cars to microwaves. While these rules impose significant costs on consumers, the benefits are harder to identify. Agencies claim that restricting consumers’ choices provides consumers with large benefits, but this reasoning is hard to reconcile with the fact that consumers have many legitimate reasons to prefer the appliances they buy and the cars they drive. This chapter explores the reasoning behind energy efficiency regulations and why these reasons are insufficient to support the large costs they impose on consumers, especially low-income consumers.