Further Reading

To fully understand the process of how regulations are created and enforced requires an almost endless pursuit of knowledge.  Listed are just some of the books, articles, and journals you could read to help better understand the rulemaking process.


Regulation: A Primer

By: Susan Dudley & Jerry Brito (PDF)

This primer 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.

Structured to Fail?

By: Christopher Carrigan

This innovative book represents the most definitive treatment of the opportunities and challenges involved in structuring the missions and jurisdictions of government agencies.

Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do And Why They Do It

By: James Q. Wilson

This book examines a wide range of bureaucracies, including the US Army, the FBI, the CIA, the FCC, and the Social Security Administration, providing the first comprehensive, in-depth analysis of what government agencies do, why they operate the way they do, and how they might become more responsible and effective.

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

By: Cass Sunstein & Richard Thaler

Every day we make choices -- about what to buy or eat, about financial investments or our children's health and education, even about the causes we champion or the planet itself. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. Nudge is about how we make these choices and how we can make better ones.

A Guide to Federal Agency Rulemaking

By: Jeffrey S. Lubbers

This concise yet thorough legal resource published by the American Bar Association describes the regulatory process, and the legislation and case law that drive regulation today.

Bending the Rules: Procedural Politicking in the Bureaucracy

By: Rachel A. Potter

This book shows how bureaucrats use procedures to resist interference from Congress, the President, and the courts at each stage of the rulemaking process. The author reveals that unelected bureaucrats wield considerable influence over the direction of public policy in the United States.

Cost-Benefit and Other Analysis Requirements in the Rulemaking Process

By: Maeve Carey

This Congressional Research Service report covers many of the key policies that give structure to the rulemaking process, including; Executive Order 12866, the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-4, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.


The Theory of Economic Regulation

By: George Stigler

"The potential uses of public resources and powers to improve the economic status of economic groups (such as industries and occupations) are analyzed to provide a scheme of the demand for regulation. The characteristics of the political process which allow relatively small groups to obtain such regulation is then sketched to provide elements of a theory of supply of regulation. A variety of empirical evidence and illustration is also presented."

Presidential Administration

By: Elena Kagan

Examines a recent and dramatic transformation in the relationship between the President (and his staff) and the administrative state. Professor Kagan argues that President Clinton, building on a foundation President Reagan laid, increasingly made the regulatory activity of the executive branch agencies into an extension of his own policy and political agenda.

How (Not) to Lie with Benefit-Cost Analysis

By: Scott Farrow

Benefit-cost analysis is the applied side of welfare economics. Its broad use in support of public decisions draws both detractors and defenders. This tongue-in-cheek piece demonstrates that knowing how to lie provides insights into how not to lie; we assume the former is always accidental among economists and we hope it is so for others.

20 Tips for Interpreting Scientific Claims

By: William Sutherland, David Spiegelhalter, and Mark Burgman

"Calls for the closer integration of science in political decision-making have been commonplace for decades. However, there are serious problems in the application of science to policy — from energy to health and environment to education.

One suggestion to improve matters is to encourage more scientists to get involved in politics. Although laudable, it is unrealistic to expect substantially increased political involvement from scientists. Another proposal is to expand the role of chief scientific advisers, increasing their number, availability and participation in political processes. Neither approach deals with the core problem of scientific ignorance among many who vote in parliaments."

Bootleggers and Baptists in Retrospect

By: Bruce Yandle

"'Bootleggers and Baptists: The Education of a Regulatory Economist' appeared in the Viewpoint column of Regulation in 1983. The piece, written when I was executive director of the Federal Trade Commission, reflected my brief experience as a government economist and offered a perhaps novel but crude theory of the demand for and supply of social regulation. Economists and legal scholars have called on the theory to explain things as diverse as antitrust and NAFTA. One economist went so far as restate the theory as a mathematical model, giving it some stature in the eyes of those who otherwise might have thought less of it. Now, some 16 years later, what can we say about the theory of bootleggers and Baptists?"

The Old-New Division in Risk Regulation

By: Peter Huber

"Federal systems of risk regulation subtly but systematically distinguish the devils we know from the ominous unknown. An old risk-new risk double standard pervades regulatory statutes and decisions construing them. In a rough way the distinction between old and new risks makes good economic and political sense. Regulation of old risks presents problems and costs different from those encountered in regulation of new risks. In practice, however, the old-new division is usually ad hoc, inadequately developed, and inconsistently applied. As a result, risk regulation often aggravates the hazards it seeks to avoid."

Exorcists vs. Gatekeepers in Risk Regulation

By: Peter Huber

"Regulating health and safety hazards is an endeavor fraught with two risks of its own. Regulation may impede risk-reducing change, freezing us into a hazardous present when a safer future beckons. Worse still, as with the Hydra's head, when one risk is removed, two others often grow up in its place."

Risk Assessment in the Federal Government: Managing the Process

By: The National Academy of Sciences

"This report explores the intricate relations between science and policy in a field that is the subject of much debate--the assessment of the risk of cancer and other adverse health effects associated with exposure of humans to toxic substances. It is a report of a search for the institutional mechanisms that best foster a constructive partnership between science and government, mechanisms to ensure that government regulation rests on the best available scientific knowledge and to preserve the integrity of scientific data and judgments in the unavoidable collision of the contending interests that accompany most important regulatory decisions."

The Efficient Regulation of Consumer Information

By: Howard Beales, Richard Craswell, and Steven Salop

"Consumer protection regulation has come under increasing fire from Congress, the courts, and the business community. Regulations have been criticized as costly, economically irrational, rigid, and paternalistic. One response to these charges has been a movement away from traditional forms of regulation and toward interventions that are more compatible with consumer and seller incentives. In particular, there has been increased interest in techniques which ensure that consumers have sufficient information to protect themselves against unsafe products or unfair seller behavior...

This paper explores some of those complexities in an attempt to see how the legal system's efforts to improve consumer information might be made more effective."

Toward a More General Theory of Regulation

By: Sam Peltzman

"George Stigler's work on the theory of regulation is one of those rare contributions--rare for the rest of us, thought not for him--which force a fundamental change in the way important problems are analyzed."


Public Administration Review


Public Administration Review is dedicated to advancing theory and practice in public administration. As the preeminent professional journal in the field PAR strives to publish research that not only advances the science and theory of public administration, but also incorporates and addresses the realities of the practice of public administration.

Regulation and Governance


Serves as the leading platform for the study of regulation and governance by political scientists, lawyers, sociologists, historians, criminologists, psychologists, anthropologists, economists and others. Research on regulation and governance, once fragmented across various disciplines and subject areas, has emerged at the cutting edge of paradigmatic change in the social sciences. Through the peer-reviewed journal Regulation & Governance, we seek to advance discussions between various disciplines about regulation and governance, promote the development of new theoretical and empirical understanding, and serve the growing needs of practitioners for a useful academic reference.

The Journal of Benefit Cost Analysis


Starting in Summer 2010, the “JBCA uniquely focuses on the theory and practice of benefit-cost analysis and related evaluation methods. The journal publishes theoretical and empirical investigations and case studies in applied welfare economics, law, and policy when they utilize or are relevant to benefit-cost analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, risk-benefit analysis, and related analytical tools.”

Administrative Law Review


The Administrative Law Review is published four times annually by the students of American University Washington College of Law in conjunction with the American Bar Association's Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. The ALR strives to develop legal research and writing skills of students while publishing articles that serve both practitioners and academics.

The Yale Journal on Regulation


Established in 1983 JREG is, “one of the top ten specialized law journals in the United States. JREG is the first-ranked journal in several categories as measured by scholarly impact, including Administrative Law; Bankruptcy; Commercial Law; Communications Law, Media, and Journalism; Corporations and Associations; and Health, Medicine, Psychology, and Psychiatry. JREG publishes in-depth scholarly articles by professors and legal practitioners twice a year on a rich array of topics.”

Journal of Policy Analysis and Management


This journal encompasses issues and practices in policy analysis and public management. Listed among the contributors are economists, public managers, and operations researchers. Featured regularly are book reviews and a department devoted to discussing ideas and issues of importance to practitioners, researchers, and academics.

Regulation Magazine


“With contributions from the nation's top economists, policy analysts, and legal experts, Regulation guarantees the objective, in-depth analysis you need to stay on top of regulatory and economic policymaking in Washington, D.C.”