Briefly Noted: CAFE and the Tension Between Optimization and Competition in Rulemaking

Choosing regulatory options that maximize net benefits is a sound principle, but it needs to be applied with an appropriate measure of humility. Regulators may be tempted to think that they can use benefit-cost analysis to determine what is “best” for the economy, and then simply mandate it. The collateral damage to competition and innovation can easily turn an otherwise well-intentioned rule into an economic disaster.

Mark Febrizio

Mark Febrizio

Policy Analyst
[email protected]


Mark Febrizio is a policy analyst at the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center. His research interests include empirical economic analysis, analyzing the economic effects of regulation, retrospective review of existing rules, and regulatory process reform. Prior to joining the Center, Mark was an MA Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, where he collaborated with scholars from the Program for Economic Research on Regulation on charts, working papers, and data analysis. Mark holds a master’s degree in economics from George Mason University.