Implementing a Two-for-One Regulatory Requirement in the U.S.

December 8, 2016

Marcus Peacock

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President-elect Trump committed to “a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations need to be eliminated” or what could be called a “two-for-one” requirement. The implementation of such a regulatory “pay as you go” process raises a number of issues including: what constitutes a “new regulation”; how offsets should be measured; estimating and managing additional analytic and administrative workload; enforcement; and how to increase the likelihood such a policy survives the next presidential transition. This working paper presents the advantages and disadvantages of various options for implementing a two-for-one policy, and also discusses the role of regulatory benefits estimates in such a system.