Publications

Regulatory Studies Center scholars conduct applied research to understand regulatory policy and practice from a public interest perspective. Many of our publications fall into the following categories:

Recent Publications

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CPSC Hearing on Safety Standard Addressing Blade-Contact Injuries on Table Saws

August 14, 2017

By Sofie E. Miller & Jacob Yarborough
In a testimony before the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Miller and Yarborough discuss three components of the Commission's proposed performance standard for table saws: 1) there is not a clear market failure to justify the rulemaking, 2) the rule will have negative effects on competition by creating a legal monopoly, and 3) the benefits that the Commission expects to result from its standard are uncertain.

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Consumer’s Guide to Regulatory Impact Analysis: Ten Tips for Being an Informed Policymaker

August 02, 2017

By S. Dudley, R. Belzer, G. Blomquist, T. Brennan, C. Carrigan, J. Cordes, L. Cox, A. Fraas, J. Graham, G. Gray, J. Hammitt, K. Krutilla, P. Linquiti, R. Lutter, B. Mannix, S. Shapiro, A. Smith, W. .Viscusi & R. Zerbe in the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis
Regulatory impact analyses (RIAs) weigh the benefits of regulations against the burdens they impose and are invaluable tools for informing decision makers. We offer 10 tips for nonspecialist policymakers and interested stakeholders who will be reading RIAs as consumers.

Table saw

Public Comment on the CPSC’s Proposed Rule: Safety Standard Addressing Blade-Contact Injuries on Table Saws

July 27, 2017

By Sofie E. Miller and Jacob Yarborough
The CPSC’s proposed rule mandates that all table saws sold in the U.S. be equipped with Active Injury Mitigation (AIM) technology. Miller and Yarborough argue that this rule would lead to a monopoly of the table saw market. This monopoly would reduce consumer choice, dramatically raise costs, and stifle innovation. In addition, they question the underlying assumptions and models that the CPSC uses to conduct their benefit-cost analysis and argue that the benefits may be overstated and the costs understated.

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Regulators’ Budget Reflects President Trump’s Priorities

July 18, 2017

By Susan E. Dudley & Melinda Warren
This year's annual report finds that although President Trump has made reducing regulatory burdens a priority, he proposes to increase the regulators' budget in FY 2018. Some agencies are budgeted for significant increases in both expenditures and staff, while others face dramatic cuts. In addition, this report finds that while spending and staffing at federal agencies has generally increased over the 59-year period covered by this report, the focus of those resources and the rate of increase have varied with the perceptions of public policy issues and the philosophies of elected officials in the executive and legislative branches.

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Public Comment on The Federal Communications Commission’s Proposed Rule: Restoring Internet Freedom

July 11, 2017

By Gerald Brock, Ph.D, Co-Director
As an independent regulatory agency, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is not required to perform a Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) of major regulations. In this public interest comment on the FCC’s “net neutrality” rule, Brock argues that it is desirable to conduct RIA voluntarily because they have become the standard method of ensuring careful analysis of proposed regulations in the U.S. and other major countries.

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Public Comment on DOE’s Request for Information on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

July 07, 2017

By Sofie E. Miller
This comment provides the Department of Energy with recommendations on how to reduce regulatory burdens pursuant to Executive Orders 13771 and 13777. Miller recommends that DOE establish consistent internal standards for determining whether a rule is "economically justified," including using a threshold to limit the proportion of consumers who bear net costs. DOE should also review each rule before increasing the stringency of its standards, and consider surveys or other measures of actual consumer behavior to ensure that its assumptions about household appliance energy use are accurate.

Primer in Korean

Regulation: A Primer (Korean edition)

July 06, 2017

Susan Dudley and Jerry Brito's book, "Regulation: A Primer" has been translated in Korean. This primer provides an accessible overview of regulatory theory, analysis, and practice. It examines the constitutional underpinnings of federal regulation and discusses who writes and enforces regulation and how they do it. It also provides insights into the different varieties of regulation and how to analyze whether a regulatory proposal makes citizens better or worse off.

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U.S. Health Care Reform: Universal Insurance or Affordable Care?

July 03, 2017

By Don W. King, M.D., J.D., Visiting Scholar
Originally published in June 2010. The U.S. leads the world in medical innovation and likely leads the world in quality of care. However, U.S health insurance and medical care are very expensive and Americans may be spending more on health care than is necessary to achieve the highest quality. This paper recommends a healthcare reform approach that emphasizes the importance of each individual owning the funds used for his or her health care and choosing both insurance and care from many available options. By providing more appropriate incentives and making care more affordable, greater individual ownership and more options should lead to fewer excess expenditures and to greater access to care for most people.

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Structured to Fail? Regulatory Performance under Competing Mandates

July 03, 2017

By Christopher Carrigan, Ph.D, Senior Scholar
Commentators often point to the structure of regulatory agencies charged with overseeing the associated industries in the wake of a national crisis, noting that the need to balance competing regulatory and non-regulatory missions undermined each agency's ability to be an effective regulator. Carrigan challenges this critique by employing a diverse set of research methods, including an in-depth case study of US regulatory oversight of offshore oil and gas development leading up to the Gulf oil spill, to systematically evaluate the benefits and concerns associated with either combining or separating regulatory and non-regulatory missions. His analysis shows why assigning competing non-regulatory missions to regulatory agencies can still be better than separating them in some cases.

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Improving Regulatory Science: A Case Study of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards

June 30, 2017

By Susan E. Dudley & Marcus Peacock
This paper explores the motivations and institutional incentives of participants involved in the development of regulation aimed at reducing health risks, with a goal of understanding and identifying solutions to what the Bipartisan Policy Center has characterized as “a tendency to frame regulatory issues as debates solely about science, regardless of the actual subject in dispute, [that] is at the root of the stalemate and acrimony all too present in the regulatory system today.” This analysis is focused on a case study of the procedures for developing National Ambient Air Quality Standards under the Clean Air Act, and attempts to identify procedural approaches that bring greater diversity into the decision process.