November 1, 2011

The Quality and Use of Regulatory Analysis in 2008

Contact us
To speak with a scholar or learn more on this topic, visit our contact page.

This article assesses the quality and apparent use of regulatory analysis for economically significant regulations proposed by federal agencies in 2008. A nine-member research team used a six-point (0–5) scale to evaluate regulatory analyses according to criteria drawn from Executive Order 12866 and Office of Management and Budget Circular A-4. Principal findings include: (1) the average quality of regulatory analysis, though not high, is somewhat better than previous regulatory scorecards have shown; (2) quality varies widely; (3) biggest strengths are accessibility and clarity; (4) biggest weaknesses are analysis of the systemic problem and retrospective analysis; (5) budget or “transfer” regulations usually receive low-quality analysis; (6) a minority of the regulations contain evidence that the agency used the analysis in significant decisions; (7) quality of analysis is positively correlated with the apparent use of the analysis in regulatory decisions; and (8) greater diffusion of best practices could significantly improve the overall quality of regulatory analysis.

Find the article at Risk Analysis