Top Ten Essays from 2021

January 26, 2022

A look back on the year that was for publications at the GW Regulatory Studies Center

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.

Top External Content

Before we list our own Top Ten, we also have a few items that were highlighted as the most viewed items elsewhere online.

Lawfare Blog - Provides "straight-shooting information and analysis at the intersection of national security, law, and policy, published in cooperation with the Brookings Institution."

The Regulatory Review - A publication of the University of Pennsylvania Program on Regulation provides "every weekday throughout the entire year, The Regulatory Review publishes incisive, timely, and original content running the complete gamut of regulatory issues.

Understanding Congress Podcast - A podcast by the American Enterprise Institute "to better understand the First Branch, join host Kevin Kosar and guests as they explain its infrastructure, culture, procedures, history, and more."

Top GW Regulatory Studies Center Essays from 2021

Our top ten list created by you!

Extending Pandemic Flexibilities for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

  • Research professor Bridget Dooling and senior policy analyst Laura Stanley produced these reports with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts. They answer the question: Do federal regulatory agencies have the authority to extend flexibilities for the treatment of opioid use disorder beyond the COVID-19 pandemic?

Distributional Effects in Regulatory Impact Analysis

  • Director Susan Dudley highlights President Biden's call for more rigorous analysis of how regulatory benefits and costs are distributed and explains why understanding the distributional impacts of regulation is important, especially because well-organized and politically-connected groups have outsized influence in the regulatory process and can shape regulatory policy to benefit their interests at the expense of more diffuse interests.

Advice for the Biden-Harris Administration & The Regulators' New Marching Orders

  • Director Susan Dudley first provides advice for the Biden-Harris Administration with time-tested regulatory practices that can help ensure evidence-based policies take diverse perspectives and information into account.
  • Professor Dudley follows that advice with a brief analysis of the early actions taken by the new administration, noting that they foreshadow a move away from the bipartisan emphasis on evidence-based policy and signal a much more progressive, and less humble, approach to regulating.

Biden is Using Multiple Mechanisms to Reverse Trump's Regulatory Agenda

  • Policy analyst Mark Febrizio reviews how the Biden administration has been actively using several options to reverse Trump-era rules, including withdrawals, regulatory suspensions, strategic responses to litigation, and other executive actions.

The Biden Administration’s First Unified Agenda

  • Senior policy analyst Daniel Pérez provides his assessment of OIRA's Fall 2021 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions.
  • Read our analysis of previous Agendas: OMB's Unified Agenda.

Beyond Republicans and the Disapproval of Regulations

  • Co-director Steven Balla, reesearch professor Bridget Dooling, and senior policy analyst Daniel Pérez examine legislative action—introductions, cosponsorship, and votes—on resolutions of disapproval of agency regulations under the Congressional Review Act by committees, political parties, and congressional majorities.

Mass, Computer-Generated, and Fraudulent Comments

  • Co-director Steven Balla and research professor Briget Dooling were two of the co-authors on this report for the Administrative Conference of the United States which examines the legal, practical, and technical issues associated with processing and responding to mass, fraudulent, and computer-generated comments on proposed rules.
  • The American Bar Association's Section on Administrative Law and Regulation hosted a related discussion featuring Balla and Dooling: Modernizing Public Comment: Potential, Perils, and Pitfalls.

Sentiment and Uncertainty about Regulation

  • GW Economics professor Tara Sinclair and senior policy analyst Zhoudan Xie present measures of sentiment and uncertainty about regulation in the U.S. over time and examine their relationships with macroeconomic performance. They also remind us that regulatory policy can create economic and social benefits, but poorly designed or excessive regulation may generate substantial adverse effects on the economy.

Agencies are Rescinding Guidance Regulations at a Rapid Pace

  • GW Law student Camille Chambers explains the details of President Biden's Executive Order 13992, which reversed President Trump's Executive Order 13891.  And lays out what agencies have done in the response to this guidance on guidance.

Bespoke Regulatory Review

  • Research professor Bridget Dooling provides us with a roadmap for how to produce effective regulatory review of independent agency proposals through a tailor-made relationship with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
  • Check out her interview with Harvard professor Joseph Aldy as well: Bespoke Regulatory Review.

Early Content from 2022

What will be the top essays in the year ahead?  Here's some of the latest from the GW Regulatory Studies Center!

2021 Regulatory Year in Review

  • Zhoudan Xie & Mark Febrizio recap the year that was in regulation.

Regulatory Policies and the Biden Administration

  • Daniel Pérez joins the Government Executive podcast with Ross Gianfortune to discuss the recent Unified Agenda, and first-year comparisons between the Biden administration and his predecessors.

What the Supreme Court’s Rejection of the Employer Vaccinate-or-Test Rule Means for Biden’s Agenda

  • Bridget Dooling, writing for the Lawfare Blog, notes that the vaccine-or-test rule ran aground on the O in OSHA, and that in their dissenting opinion, Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor had no trouble conceiving of the OSHA rule as an appropriate workplace measure.

One Year On, a Critical Role Needs to Be Filled By the Administration

  • Susan Dudley joins NYU Law's Sally Katzen on calling for President Biden to send a nominee to the Senate in The Hill.

Biden’s First Regulatory Year

  • Bridget Dooling's latest essay for the Brookings Institution looks back on the year that was for regulatory policy under the Biden administration.

Setting Appliance and Equipment Standards

  • Susan Dudley co-authored this report for the National Academies on the Dept. of Energy's regulatory impact analysis.
  • The co-authors also submitted a public interest comment on a related rulemaking and sent a joint letter to the DOE.

A Study To Evaluate OIRA Review of Treasury Regulations

  • Bridget Dooling and Univ. of Minnesota's Kristin Hickman will be producing a study analyzing the effect of White House review of proposed rules related to tax policy.

Regulatory Reform: Tracking the Watchwords of a Movement

  • GW Trachtenberg student Dylan Desjardins 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.