Books and Reports

Nudge Theory

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

October 12, 2016

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.

The Final Countdown Report Cover

The Final Countdown: Projecting Midnight Regulations

July 12, 2016

By Sofie E. Miller and Daniel R. Pérez
The final months of presidential administrations are accompanied by a significant increase in regulatory output as the executive branch relies increasingly on unilateral activity in a rush to implement its remaining policy priorities. This has come to be known as the “midnight period.” This report contains two robust, quantitative models that contribute to the scholarship in this area by: predicting the number of economically significant rules likely to be issued during the Obama administration’s final months, and finding that independent regulatory agencies do not increase their regulatory output during presidential transitions.

Regulators' Budget

Regulators’ Budget from Eisenhower to Obama

May 17, 2016

By Susan E. Dudley & Melinda Warren
According to a new analysis from the GW Regulatory Studies Center and the Weidenbaum Center at Washington University in St. Louis, fiscal outlays for administering regulation have increased more than 20-fold since 1960. In the final year of the Eisenhower administration, regulatory agencies employed a little more than 57,000 people and spent $533 million (equivalent to $3 billion in 2009 dollars). President Obama’s final budget request to Congress proposes expenditures of $70.0 billion ($61 billion in 2009 dollars) on regulatory activities in FY 2017, and a staff of almost 279,000.

US-EU Regulatory Cooperation: Lessons and Opportunities

April 26, 2016

By D. Pérez, S. Dudley, N. Eisner, R. Lutter, D. Zorn and N. Nord
The George Washington University 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.

American dam

Managing Water in the West: Private and Public

April 05, 2016

By Randy T. Simmons
Who is in charge of water in the United States? The answer depends on where you live. In the West, a complex system of private owners, water companies, irrigation and municipal water districts, and federal agencies are able to allocate water in a relatively seamless manner. In collaboration with Utah State University's Institute of Political Economy, the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center presents Managing Water in the West: Private and Public, a new report that shows how private property rights and market conditions enable innovation and efficient allocation of clean water.