More than ever before, state governments now undertake an ambitious range of regulatory programs and often become leaders on environmental, health, and safety policies. As states expand their regulatory reach, it becomes increasingly important to ensure that statewide regulatory decisions are efficient, consistent, fair, and justified.
Academic Articles/Working Papers
In Cause or Cure?: Cost-Benefit Analysis and Regulatory Gridlock, Michael A. Livermore argues that cost-benefit analysis can be used to overcome regulatory paralysis. An earlier version of this working paper was presented at the Breaking the Logjam Conference at NYU Law in the spring of 2008.
Agencies are infamous for pushing through regulations on the eve of an Administration’s exit. In May 2008, the Bush Administration issued a bulletin mandating that no regulations were to be proposed after June 1, 2008, except in extraordinary circumstances.
For the first time in a dozen years, the New York State Governor’s Office of Regulatory Reform (GORR) has begun to update its guidelines for how state agencies should conduct cost-benefit analysis. This update seeks to transform what had been an infrequently and inconsistently used technique in New York into a more standard and powerful decisionmaking tool.
In Retaking Rationality: How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Better Protect the Environment and Our Health (Oxford University Press, 2008), Dean Richard L. Revesz and Michael A. Livermore argue for a more rational approach to cost-benefit analysis and regulation. They show how traditional cost-benefit analysis tends to overestimate costs and underestimate benefits, leading to less-than-optimal levels of regulation. They identify eight “fallacies” of cost-benefit analysis and argue that these fallacies must be removed, and the structure of regulatory review improved, before cost-benefit analysis can achieve its potential to be a neutral tool of policy analysis.
Retaking Rationality contends that economic analysis is necessary and that it needn’t conflict with—and can in fact support—a more compassionate approach to environmental and public health policy.
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