Policy Documents

Evaluating Regulatory Reforms: Lessons for Future Reforms

Sherzod Abdukadirov ā€“
May 29, 2014
Over the decades, regulatory reforms have sought to increase agency accountability and improve the quality of regulatory analysis and decision-making, with varying success. In this paper, I draw upon previous reform experiences to identify four criteria for effective reforms: independent oversight, veto power, broad applicability, and expertise. Thus, successful reforms charge an actor independent of the executive branch with overseeing agency rulemaking. They grant the independent actor sufficient veto power to enforce agency compliance. They apply independent oversight broadly to all major regulations and allow few exceptions. Finally, reforms appoint the independent actor that has the scientific and economic expertise to peer-review agency analysis. Using these criteria, I evaluate the major reforms proposed in the 112th Congress to assess whether these reforms would limit agency discretion while improving the quality of regulatory analysis in the rulemaking process.