Top Ten Essays from 2022

February 17, 2023

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

Our scholars and experts explored a wide range of topics last year and published leading insights on the regulation developments that mattered most. Here's a recap of our top essays for 2022!


A Vast and Discretionary Regime

August 12, 2022. Research Professor Bridget C.E. Dooling and Senior Policy Analyst Laura E. Stanley authored this report with support provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
This report analyzes four groups of regulations that are barriers to treatment for opioid use disorder with methadone. Working through each group of regulations, this report explains the rules and how they function as barriers. Then, the report finds that in almost every instance, federal regulators have clear statutory authority to amend or remove these regulatory barriers to treatment.

Policymaking through Adjudication: DEA’s Red Flags

August 13, 2022. By Senior Policy Analyst Laura E. Stanley
The Drug Enforcement Administration implements a “red flags” policy through a patchwork of agency enforcement orders. The unclear standards have made some pharmacies reluctant to fill prescriptions for buprenorphine, a drug that can help tackle the opioid crisis.

Comparing Regulatory Uncertainty with Other Policy Uncertainty Measures

February 3, 2022. By Senior Policy Analyst Zhoudan (Zoey) Xie
Economic research shows that increased uncertainty can lead to significant reductions in hiring, investment, consumption, and output in the economy. Among many types of uncertainty, policy uncertainty has gained increased attention during recent years. In a recent working paper, Tara Sinclair and I constructed a new time series measure of uncertainty around regulatory policy. The measure tracks changes in regulatory uncertainty in the U.S. since 1985 based on the degree of uncertainty expressed in relevant newspaper articles.

A Study To Evaluate OIRA Review of Treasury Regulations

January 6, 2022. By Research Professor Bridget C.E. Dooling and Kristin E. Hickman
In a new study, the authors aim to learn more about the effect of Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) review of Treasury Department regulations interpreting the Internal Revenue Code. What contributions does OIRA review offer the tax regulatory process? What are its limitations?

Is Chevron Deference Still Alive?

July 14, 2022. By GW Law Professor Richard J. Pierce, Jr.
The Chevron doctrine has been widely applied for decades. What, then, should be made of the fact that the Supreme Court’s recent opinions in American Hospital Association and Empire Health in which the Court simply ignored Chevron?

Biden's Spring 2022 Unified Agenda

July 1, 2022. By senior policy analysts Mark Febrizio, Laura Stanley, and Zhoudan (Zoey) Xie
The Spring 2022 Unified Agenda reflects the Biden Administration’s continued priority on policies addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this Agenda also contrasts with the previous ones, suggesting a larger focus on other administration priorities related to environmental, health, immigration, and education policy.

Regulatory Compliance Burdens Literature Review and Synthesis

October 19, 2022. By RSC Director Susan E. Dudley, Co-Director Joseph J. Cordes, and Research Assistant and PhD candidate Layvon Washington. Support for this project was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Government regulation is intended to provide a variety of social benefits, but it does so at a cost. Regulations that address a compelling public need, such as material failures of private markets to internalize social costs, can potentially support and improve upon market transactions and yield important economic, social, and environmental benefits. However, if poorly designed or implemented, they can cause serious economic distortions that lower economic growth or GDP, damage investment and competitiveness and reduce entrepreneurship. This paper reviews and synthesizes available literature on the potential economic impacts of reducing regulatory compliance and administrative burdens on business, while holding regulatory goals and outcomes constant.

In the Shadow of China: Notice and Comment Policymaking in Hong Kong and Taiwan

April 29, 2022. By RSC Co-Director Steven J. Balla and PhD candidates Yat To Yeung and Huang Chen
In recent years, the Chinese government has increasingly flexed its economic, political, and military muscles around the world. Close to its mainland home has been no exception, as the Chinese government has taken actions to pressure officials in Hong Kong and Taiwan. This report compares and contrasts Hong Kong and Taiwan with respect to the frequency of notice and comment policymaking, the duration of comment periods, and government responsiveness to comments.

The Unintended Consequences of Banking Regulations: Shadow Banking

May 26, 2022. By Senior Policy Analyst Zhoudan (Zoey) Xie
Shadow banks are not subject to the stringent regulation that traditional banks are and can pose great risks to the financial system. Since the financial crisis, banking regulations have been tightened to reduce the fragility of the financial system. However, an unintended consequence is that tighter regulations, such as higher bank capital requirements, can cause an expansion of shadow banking activity. This effect, if large enough, may offset the intended impact of regulation. The overall impact of recent regulatory changes on systemic risk of the financial system is therefore less clear.

Handbook of Regulatory Authorities

August 2022. Chapters by RSC Director Susan E. Dudley, Co-Director Christopher Carrigan, Research Professor Jerry Ellig, and Senior Policy Analyst Mark Febrizio
This comprehensive and interdisciplinary international Handbook from Edward Elgar Publishing examines the fundamental concepts, theories, practices, and empirical achievements and challenges in the contemporary study of regulatory authorities. The Handbook is a valuable resource for academics, policy analysts, practitioners, and policymakers working in the regulatory field.