Commentaries & Insights

Our Commentaries and Insights are short-form publications intended to distill long-form research and synthesize current policymaking activity into easily understood concepts.

Notice and Comment Policymaking During Uncertain Times

The notice and comment process—in which governments make public draft policies and solicit feedback on these proposals—is seen as a vehicle for promoting transparency, participation, and responsiveness in policymaking.

Comparing Regulatory Uncertainty with Other Policy Uncertainty Measures

Economic research shows that increased uncertainty can lead to significant reductions in hiring, investment, consumption, and output in the economy. Among many types of uncertainty, policy uncertainty has gained increased attention during recent years.

Top Ten Essays from 2021

2021 was an...interesting year to say the least!  The GW Regulatory Studies Center stayed busy producing dozens of essays on a wide array of topics in regulatory policy.  This page highlights the top ten most viewed essays from our own website.

Vaccine Mandates and Roads Not Taken

Earlier this month, a six-justice majority of the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the vaccinate-or-test mandate that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) imposed on employers that have more than 100 employees.

Regulatory Policies and the Biden Administration

Last month, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs released its semiannual Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The documents lay out a priority set for the Biden administration as it enters into its second year.

2021 Regulatory Year in Review

This Regulatory Insight recaps ten important developments related to federal regulations that occurred in 2021. With the continued spread of COVID-19, regulatory responses to the pandemic are still an important theme throughout 2021, including several controversial vaccination requirements. The other themes reflect the Biden administration’s efforts to halt or undo Trump-era regulations during its initial year.

A Study To Evaluate OIRA Review of Treasury Regulations

In a new study, we aim to learn more about the effect of Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) review of Treasury Department regulations interpreting the Internal Revenue Code. What contributions does OIRA review offer the tax regulatory process? What are its limitations?

Regulatory Reform: Tracking the Watchwords of a Movement

This commentary examines the history of the phrase “regulatory reform,” tracking the phrase from the early 20th century to its proliferation during the Ford administration to today.

Federal Agencies are Publishing Fewer but Larger Regulations

The pace of rulemaking has declined for several decades, with the number of final and proposed rules falling from 1995 to 2020. One plausible explanation for this trend is that federal agencies are crafting bigger rules over time, in terms of both page length and economic impact.

The Fall 2021 Unified Agenda

On Friday, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs released its annual Regulatory Plan and semiannual Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. Most agencies echo the Biden administration’s desire to focus on equity concerns in rulemaking in their statements of regulatory priorities. Aside from routine rulemakings, most of the large rules published for the first time in the Fall 2021 Unified Agenda are regulatory actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic or environmental policy.